HT THE BEAUTIFUL G FROM THE LIBRARY OF REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D. BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO THE LIBRARY OF PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY iBisst llarcom'g Books* POETICAL WORKS. Household Edition. With Portrait. i2mo, $1.50 ; full gilt, $2.00. POEMS. i6mo, $1.25. AN IDYL OF WORK. i6mo, $1.25. WILD ROSES OF CAPE ANN, AND OTHER POEMS. i6mo, gilt top, $1.25. CHILDHOOD SONGS. Illustrated. i2mo, $1.00. EASTER GLEAMS. Poems. iorao, parchment paper, 75 cents. AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. i6mo, $1.00. AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE, and other Songs of Faith. i6mo, $1.00. THE UNSEEN FRIEND. i6mo, $1.00. A NEW ENGLAND GIRLHOOD, outlined from Memory. In Riverside Library for Young People. i6mo, 75 cents. Holiday Edition. 1 6mo , $1.25. BREATHINGS OF THE BETTER LIFE. Edited by Lucy Larcom. i8mo, $1.25. ROADSIDE POEMS FOR SUMMER TRAVELLERS. Selected by Lucy Larcom. i8mo, $1.00. HILLSIDE AND SEASIDE IN POETRY. Selected by Lucy Larcom. i8mo, $1.00. BECKONINGS FOR EVERY DAY. A Collection of Quotations for each day in the year. Compiled by Lucy Larcom. i6mo, $1.00. HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY, Boston and New York. AT THE BEAUTIF/I gjfr OF PR/,V5> ' fi^933 AND ' 0G/CI ^ OTHER SOXGS OF FAITH BY LUCY LARCOM BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY t|l liitocrsi&e press, Cambridge 1S92 Copyright, 1892, By LUCY LARCOM. All rights reserved. The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A. Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co. TO MY DEAREST SISTER EMELIXE, WHO TAUGHT MY CHILDHOOD TO SEE THAT POETRY AND RELIGION ARE ONE, I DEDICATE THIS COLLECTION OF MY SONGS AND HYMNS. WHICH HAS JUST MISSED HER EARTHLY APPROVAL. E. A. S. Passed hence, Sunday, July 17, 1892. My Sister-Spirit, given to me To love me with an angeVs love, Whom I no more on earth shall see, I claim thee, in thy house above ! Our love had roots beyond the earth, Though planted by one roof-tree here ; Where now thou art it had its birth, — Beside Life's River, cool and clear. And by its fragrance in my heart — The breath of an immortal flower — I know we are not far apart ; So life grows sweeter, hour by hour. God gives to us the Love He is : No spray of this true Vine can die : Loving as He loves, we are His ; This is our immortality. — Dear Saviour-Friend, Immanuel, In whom all other friends we find, With us as with our angels dwell, Nor let them leave us far behind ! So well she knew Thy Face Divine, We felt her life Thy Presence prove : O hide our lives with hers, in Thine .' For Thou art Heaven, since Thou art Love ! PREFATORY NOTE. The suggestion by friends, that such of the wri- are of an especially serious and de- votional character should be brought together in a small volume, has led to the following collection. Many of these — more than a third, perhaps — have been written since the complete (Household) edition of her poems was published, about ten years ago. and are not included in that edition. Others are now for the tirst time in print. In selecting from her more recent verses, as well as from those which have become somewhat familiar, choice has been made chiefly of such as may be called hymns, being at once lyrical and devotional : and also of such as have borne the test of a somewhat wide approval. They do not claim to be songs or hymns in any .though a number of them have been included in hymn-books, both here and in England. The th <me of them are drawn from nature and from friendship, as well VI r HE FA TORY NOTE religion ; and some of them may be regarded sim- ply as meditations. But hymns may be written either to read or to sing ; and sometimes not even to read aloud, but only for the wordless response of feeling and thought, — the truest singing being indeed but a voice-rendering of this silent inner melody. That nature and human affection belong to our most sacred inspirations, scarcely needs to be affirmed. Just as this book was ready for the press, the sad tidings came of the withdrawal from earth of one from whom the writer received her earliest encouragement to publish her collected verses, — one whose approbation has always been far more to her than any public recognition. It is with deep regret that this volume is sent forth lacking the personal word of benediction from our beloved poet Whittier, never hitherto withheld from a book of hers, — with sincere sorrow that the friendly coun- sel and sympathy, always so generously given, can never again be expected or received. In adding the verses upon the concluding page, the volume is associated, in the only way now possible, with a friendship which has given her whole life a stronger hold upon immortality, — with a memory most hal- lowed and most dear. The poem entitled " Elizabeth," though hardly to be classified as song or hymn, seems naturally to PREFATORY NOTE vn find a place beside "Withdrawal/ 5 thus linking the memory of two lives always thought of as one by those who knew them best, now reunited beyond the Beautiful Gate that opens into the Unseen. The poet's last word to the writer — in an unfin- ished letter — was a warm approval of her recent volumes. " As it is -in Heaven." and '-The Unseen Friend." To know this may add to the value of those little books with readers who have given them so cordial a welcome ; some of whom may make a place beside the two for this collection of the author's verses on sacred themes, as a not unfit- ting companion. Beverly. Mass.. October, 1892. CONTENTS PAGE AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE ...... 1 THE HEAVENWARD CALL 3 SHOW ME THY WAY 4 THY KINGDOM COME GOD IN CHRIST G THE IMMORTAL NOW 7 FORETASTE 9 INDWELLING 10 THE INMOST ONE 11 ALIVE LN THEE 12 MY ANGEL-DRESS 14 4 'AS STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS '' . . . . 15 HAND IN HAND WITH ANGELS 16 god's BEST GIFT 19 in the air 20 a thanksgiving 21 the immortal voyager 28 climbing to rest 25 prayer on the mountain 26 song-wefts 27 the still hour 29 w1ntkr midnight 31 a white world 32 a heart's prayer 34 x CONTENTS THY WILL BE DONE 35 PRAYING ALWAYS 30 BURDENED 38 IN SORROW 39 OUR PRAYERS 40 HELPER AND FRIEND 41 IN THE DARK 42 THEE ONLY 43 AT THY FEET 44 SAVED 45 purified 46 " even as he is pure " 47 "be ye therefore perfect" .... 48 the king at the door 50 the seeker 51 " himself he cannot save " 52 beside the cross 54 nearer to christ 55 the lamb that was slain 56 easter: sunset and sunrise 58 christ is arisen 59 as a flower 60 ring, happy bells ! 61 the new song 62 our christ 63 his birthday 64 woman's christmas 65 woman's easter 67 the lily of the resurrection .... 68 "ye shall live also" 70 the heart of god 71 his church 75 the blessed company 76 CONTENTS xi 11 IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME " 78 AT THE FEAST 79 OUR DAILY BREAD 79 " MY CUP RUNNETH OVER " 81 HYMNS OF A DAY: DAWN 82 noontlde 82 nightfall 83 sunrise in the city 84 children's june song 86 wanderers' hymn 87 a canticle in war, a. d. 1863 88 life is growth 91 his star in the west 92 glimpses 94 WHY LIFE IS SWEET 96 MORE LIFE 97 DRAWING NEARER 99 ACROSS THE RIVER 102 A YEAR IN HEAVEN 104 NEAR SHORE 106 LOVE'S LATE REMORSE 108 FOR LARGER LIVES 110 THE PERFECT WORD 112 A DOOR OPENED 113 TRANSFIGURED 114 ELIZABETH 115 WITHDRAWAL 117 AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE. Lord, open the door, for I falter, I faint in this stifled air ; In dust and straitness I lose my breath ; This life of self is a living death : Let me in to Thy pastures broad and fair, To the sun and the wind from Thy mountains free ; Lord, open the door to me ! There is holier life, and truer, Than ever my heart has found : There is nobler work than is wrought within These walls so charred by the fires of sin, Where I toil like a captive blind and bound : An open door to a freer task In Thy nearer smile, I ask. Yet the world is Thy field, Thy garden ; On earth art Thou still at home. When Thou bendest hither Thy hallowing eye, My narrow work-room seems vast and high, Its dingy ceiling a rainbow dome. Stand ever thus at my wide-swung door, And toil will be toil no more ! Through the rosy portals of morning, Now the tides of sunshine flow : 2 AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE O'er the blossoming earth and the glistening sea, The praise Thou inspirest rolls back to Thee ; Its tones through the infinite arches go ; Yet, crippled and dumb, behold me wait, Dear Lord, at the Beautiful Gate ! I wait for Thy hand of healing ; For vigor and hope in Thee. Open wide the door, — let me feel the sun ! Let me touch thy robes ! — I shall rise and run Through Thy happy universe, safe and free, Where in and out Thy beloved go, Nor want nor wandering know. Thyself art the Door, Most Holy ! By Thee let me enter in ! I press toward Thee with my failing strength : Unfold Thy love in its breadth and length ! True life from Thine let my spirit win ! To the saints' fair City, the Father's Throne, Thou, Lord, art the way alone. From the deeps of unseen glory Now I feel the flooding light. O rare sweet winds from Thy hills that blow ! O River so calm in its crystal flow ! O Love unfathomed — the depth, the height ! What joy wilt Thou not unto me impart, When Thou shalt enlarge my heart ! To be made with Thee one spirit, Is the boon that I lingering ask : THE HEAVES WARD CALL \ To have no bar 'twixt my soul and Thine ; My thoughts to echo Thy will divine ; Myself Thy servant, for any task. — Life ! life ! I may enter, through Thee, the Door, Saved, sheltered forevermore ! THE HEAVENWARD CALL. What shall I do. my Lord, my God, To make my life worth more to Thee ? Within my heart, through earth abroad, Deep voices stir and summon me. Through strange confusions of the time I hear Thy beckoning call resound : There is a pathway more sublime Than yet my laggard feet have found. My coward heart, my flagging feet, They hold me in bewildering gloom : Come Thou my stumbling steps to meet, And lift me unto larger room ! The dearest voice may lead astray : Speak Thou ! Thy word my guide shall be, Oh, not from life and men away, But through them, with them, up to Thee. It is not much these hands can do : Keep Thou my spirit close to Thine. Till every thought Thy love throbs through, And all my words breathe truth divine ! SHOW ME THY WAY With souls that seek Thy pure abode, Let my unfaltering soul aspire ! Make me a radiance on the road ; A bearer of Thy sacred fire ! SHOW ME THY WAY. Dark the night, the snow is falling ; Through the storm are voices calling ; Guides mistaken and misleading, Far from home and help receding : Vain is all those voices say : Show me Thy way ! Blind am I as those who guide. me; Let me feel Thee close beside me ! Come as light into my being ! Unto me be eyes, All-Seeing! Hear my heart's one wish, I pray : Show me Thy way ! Son of Man and Lord Immortal, Opener of the heavenly portal. In Thee all my hope is hidden ; Never yet was soul forbidden Near Thee, close to Thee, to stay : Show me Thy way ! Thou art Truth's eternal morning ; Led by Thee, all evil scorning. Through the paths of pure salvation, THY KINGDOM COME I shall find Thy habitation, Whence I never more shall stray : Show me Thy way ! Thou must lead me, and none other ; Truest Lover, Friend, and Brother, Thou art my soul's shelter, whether Stars gleam out, or tempests gather : In Thy presence night is day : Show me Thy way! THY KINGDOM COME. SOMETIMES a vision comes to me Of what Thy world was meant to be ; Thy beauty all things shining through, Thy love in all the works we do. I shade my spirit's dazzled sight Before the splendor of that light : Earth crowned with heaven's pure diadem, The Bride, the new Jerusalem ! For this alone didst Thou descend, O Son of God, man's glorious Friend, From Thy dear Father's throne of bliss ; — That human life might be as His. Thy Kingdom come, our souls within ! Where Thou art, is no room for sin : Oh. show us what our lives may be, Led home to Him. by following Thee ! GOD IN CHRIST GOD IN CHRIST. Thou far-off, eternal God, Within all life, beyond all thought, We seek Thee through Thy worlds abroad ; Thy footsteps trace, but find Thee not ; All forms of being Thou dost fill, A strange, retreating Mystery still. Far-off Thou art, and yet most near ! Thou comest in Christ our souls to meet, A Presence close and warm and dear; A Sympathy, a Friendship sweet ; One with ourselves in Him Thou art ; — Our Father, with a Brother's heart. The Source of all the tenderness Whereof our lonely souls have dreamed, — A boundless Power and Will to bless, — Thy Life into our lives hath streamed. We grope not through the void alone ; Thou callest us, claim est us for Thine own. Into Thy hand Thou takest ours ; We lean our weary hearts on Thine ; Our inmost thoughts, our utmost powers Unfold within Thy Light Divine : And in the Spirit of Thy Son Our little lives with Thine are one. Thy mysteries deepen and increase ; Beyond our path we cannot see ; THE IMMORTAL NOW Christ is our Refuge and our Peace ; Through Him we are at home with Thee ; In Him we know Thee as Thou art : — Thou lovest us with a human Heart ! THE IMMORTAL NOW. Sit not blindfold. Soul, and sigh For the immortal By-and-by ! Dreamer, seek not heaven afar On the shores of some strange star ! This a star is — this, thine Earth ! Here the germ awakes to birth Of God's sacred life in thee — Heir of immortality ! Inmost heaven its radiance pours Round thy windows, at thy doors, Asking but to be let in ; Waiting to flood out thy sin ; Offering thee unfailing health, Love's refreshment, boundless wealth : Voices at thy life's gate say, " Be immortal, Soul, to-day ! " Thou canst shut the splendor out ; Darken every room with doubt ; From the entering angels hide Under tinseled wefts of pride ; While the pure in heart behold God in every flower unfold ; THE IMMORTAL NOW While the poor His kingdom share, Reigning with Him everywhere. Oh, let Christ and sunshine in ! Let His love its sweet way win ! Nothing human is too mean To receive the King unseen : Not a pleasure or a care But celestial robes may wear ; Impulse, thought, and action may Live immortally to-day. Balance not in scales of time Deathless destinies sublime ! What vague future can weigh down This great Now that is thine own ? Love were miserly that gave Only gifts beyond the grave. Heaven makes every earth-plant thrive ; All things are in God alive. Oh, the stifled bliss and mirth At the weary heart of Earth, We, her children, might awake ! Songs would from her bosom break ; Toil, unfettered from its curse, God's glad purpose would rehearse, If with Him we understood Of creation — " It is good." Soul, perceive thy perfect hour ! Let thy life burst into flower ! FOBETASTE Heaven is opening to bestow More than thou canst think or know. Now to thy true height arise ! Enter now thy Paradise ! In to-day, to-morrow see, Now is immortality ! FORETASTE. How do I know that after this Another life there is ? Another life ? There is but one ! In mystery begun, Continued in a miracle, God's breath, The living soul, spells not the name of death. How know I that I am alive ? So only as I thrive On truth, whose sweetness keeps the soul Vigorous and pure and whole : Heaven's health within is immortality ; The life that is, and evermore shall be. To grasp the Hereafter is not mine ; And yet a Voice divine Hath, page by page, interpreted Time's book, while I have read : And, as my heart in wisdom shall unfold, Secrets of unseen heavens shall I be told. To Thy Beyond no fear I give ; Because Thou livest, I live, 10 INDWELLING Unsleeping Friend ! Why should I wake, Troublesome thought to take For any strange to-morrow ? In Thy hand. Days and eternities like flowers expand. Odors from blossoming worlds unknown Across my path are blown ; Thy robes trail hither myrrh and spice From farthest paradise ; I walk through Thy fair universe with Thee, And sun me in Thine immortality. INDWELLING. O Spirit, whose name is the Saviour, Come enter this spirit of mine, And make it forever Thy dwelling, A home wherein all things are Thine ! O Son of the Father Eternal, Once with us, a Friend and a Guest, Abide in Thine own human mansion, Its Joy and its Hope and its Rest ! Leave in me no darkness unlighted, Unwarmed by Thy truth's holy fire ; No thought which Thou canst not inhabit, No purpose Thou dost not inspire ! Shut in unto silence, my midnight Is dawn, if Thy Presence I see ; THE IX MOST ONE 11 When I open my doors to Thy coming, Lo ! all things are radiant with Thee. Oh, what is so sweet as to love Thee, And live with Thee always in sight ? Lord, enter this house of my heing, And fill every room with Thy light ! THE INMOST ONE. How near to me, my God, thou art ! Felt in the throbbing of my heart, Nearer than my own thoughts to me : Nothing is real, without Thee ! Thy perfect light makes morning fair, Thy breath is freshness in the air ; The glory Thou of star and sun. Thou Soul of souls, Thou Inmost One ! With feverish restlessness and pain We strive to shut Thee out, in vain ; To darkened heart and rebel will Thou art the one clear Day spring still. Eyes art Thou unto us, the blind : We turn to Thee, ourselves to find ; We set ajar no door of prayer But Thou art waiting entrance there. Within me, — nearer far than near. — Through every thought Thy voice I hear : 12 ALIVE IX THEE My whole life welcomes Thy control ; Immanuel ! God within my soul ! Thou fillest my being's hidden springs, Thou givest my wishes heavenward wings ; I live Thy life, I breathe Thy breath ; Nor part nor lot have I with death. ALIVE IN THEE. Into the heaven of Thy heart, O God, I lift up my life, like a flower ; Thy light is deep, and Thy love is broad, And I am not the child of an hour. As a little blossom is fed from the whole Vast depth of unfathomed air, Through every fibre of thought my soul Reaches forth, in Thyself to share. I dare to say unto Thee, my God, Who hast made me to climb so high, That I shall not crumble away with the clod : I am Thine, and I cannot die ! The throb of Thy infinite life I feel In every beat of my heart ; Upon me hast Thou set eternity's seal ; Forever alive, as Thou art. I know not Thy mystery, O my God, Nor yet what my own life means, ALIVE IN THEE 13 That feels after Thee, through the mould and the sod, And the darkness that intervenes. But I know that I live, since I hate the wrong, The glory of truth can see ; Can cling to the right with a purpose strong, Can love and can will with Thee. And I feel Thee through other lives, my God, That into Thyself have grown, And are filled with the sweetness of Thine abode, With the light that is all Thine own. Because I have known the human heart And its heavenly tenderness, I am sure that Thou with Thy children art : They bless me as Thou dost bless. Shall I doubt Thy breath which I breathe, my God ? Shall I reason myself into dust ? Thy Word flows fresh through the earth abroad ; My soul to Thy Soul I trust ! Thou hast entered into humanity, And hast made it, like Thee, divine ; And the grave and corruption it shall not see, This Holy One that is Thine ! 14 MY ANGEL-DRESS MY ANGEL-DRESS. Heavenly Father, I would wear Angel-garments, white and fair : Angel-vesture undefiled Wilt Thou give unto Thy child ? Not a robe of many hues, Such as earthly fathers choose ; Discord weaves the gaudy vest : Not in such let me be drest. Take the raiment soiled away That I wear with shame to-day : Give my angel-robe to me, White with heavenly purity ! Take away my cloak of pride, And the worthless rags ? t would hide : Clothe me in my angel-dress, Beautiful with holiness ! Perfume every fold with love, Hinting heaven where'er I move ; As an Indian vessel's sails Whisper of her costly bales. Let me wear my white robes here, Even on earth, my Father dear, Holding fast Thy hand, and so Through the world unspotted go. "AS STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS" 15 Let me now my white robes wear : Then I need no more prepare, All apparelled for my home TVhensoe'er Thou callest, 4 * Come ! " Thus apparelled, I shall be As a signal set for Thee. That the wretched and the weak May the same fair garments seek. " Buy of Me ! " I hear Thee say ; I have naught wherewith to pay, But I give myself to Thee ; Clothed, adopted I shall be. "AS STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS.' As strangers, glad for this good inn, Where nobler wayfarers have been ; Yet asking but a little rest : Earth may not keep her spirit-guest. As those whom no entangling bond Must draw from life and love beyond : Strangers to all that lures astray From one plain path, the homeward way. How must the pilgrim's load be borne ? With staggering limbs, and look forlorn ? His Guide chose all that load within : There 's need of everything, but sin. 16 HAND IN HAND WITH ANGELS So, trusting Him whose love he knows, Singing along the road he goes ; And nightly of his burden makes A pillow till the morning breaks. How thinks the pilgrim of his way ? As wanderers homesick and astray ? The starlight and the dew he sees ; He feels the blessing of the breeze ; The valley-shades, how cool and still ! What splendor from the beetling hill ! He longs to go ; he loves to stay ; For God is both his Home and Way. Strangers to sin ! beloved of God ! Ye track with heaven-light earth's mean sod ; For, pilgrims dear, He walks with you, A Guide, — but once a Pilgrim too. HAND IN HAND WITH ANGELS. Hand in hand with angels, Through the world we go ; Brighter eyes are on us Than we blind ones know ; Tenderer voices cheer us Than we deaf will own ; Never, walking heavenward, Can we walk alone. HAND IN HAND WITH ANGELS 17 Hand in hand with angels, In the busy street, By the winter hearth-fires, — Everywhere. — we meet, Though unfledged and songless, Birds of Paradise ; Heaven looks at us daily Out of human eyes. Hand in hand with angels, Oft in menial guise ; By the same strait pathway Prince and beggar rise. If we drop the fingers Toil-embrowned and worn, Then one link with heaven From our life is torn. Hand in hand with angels ; Some are fallen. — alas ! Soiled wings trail pollution Over all they pass. Lift them into sunshine. Bid them seek the sky I Weaker is your soaring. When they cease to fly. Hand in hand with angels ; Some are out of sight, Leading us. unknowing. Into paths of light Some dear bands are loosened From our earthly clasp, 18 HAND IN HAND WITH ANGELS Soul in soul to hold us With a firmer grasp. Hand in hand with angels, — 'T is a twisted chain, Winding heavenward, earthward, Linking joy and pain. There 's a mournful jarring, 9 There 's a clank of doubt, If a heart grows heavy, Or a hand 's left out. Hand in hand with angels Walking every day, — How the chain may lengthen, None of us can say. But we know it reaches From earth's lowliest one, To the shining seraph, Throned beyond the sun. Hand in hand with angels ; Blessed so to be ! Helped are all the helpers ; Giving light, they see. He who aids another Strengthens more than one ; Sinking earth he grapples To the Great White Throne. GOD'S BEST GIFT 19 GOD'S BEST GIFT. What is the best a friend can be To any soul, to you or me ? Not only shelter, comfort, rest, Inmost refreshment unexpressed ; Not only a beloved guide To thread life's labyrinth at our side, Or with love's torch lead on before ; — Though these be much, there yet is more. The best friend is an atmosphere Warm with all inspirations dear, Wherein we breathe the large, free breath Of life that has no taint of death. Our friend is an unconscious part Of every true beat of our heart ; A strength, a growth, whence we derive God's health, that keeps the world alive. The best friend is horizon, too, Lifting unseen things into view, And widening every petty claim Till lost in some sublimer aim ; Blending all barriers in the great Infinities that round us wait. Friendship is an eternity Where soul with soul walks, heavenly free. Can friend lose friend ? Believe it not ! The tissue whereof life is wrought, 20 IN THE AIR Weaving the separate into one, Nor end hath, nor beginning ; spun From subtle threads of destiny, Finer than thought of man can see. God takes not back his gifts divine ; While thy soul lives, thy friend is thine. If but one friend has crossed thy way, Once only, in thy mortal day ; If only once life's best surprise Has opened on thy human eyes, — Ingrate thou wert, indeed, if thou Didst not in that rare presence bow, And on earth's holy ground, unshod, Speak softlier the dear name of God. IN THE AIR. The scent of a blossom from Eden ! The flower was not given to me, But it freshened my spirit forever, As it passed, on its way to thee ! In my soul is a lingering music : The song was not meant for me, But I listen, and listen, and wonder To whom it can lovelier be. The sounds and the scents that float by us - They cannot tell whither they go ; Yet, however it fails of its errand, Love makes the world sweeter, I know. A TIIAXKSGIVING 21 I know that love never is wasted, Nor truth, nor the breath of a prayer ; And the thought that goes forth as a blessing Must live, as a joy in the air. The best of all God's blessings Are caught upon the wing, And then set free into the heaven Of other hearts, to sing. Our message brought no answer, — Our dream did not come true ; But we have freshened weary lives In ways we never knew. A THANKSGIVING. For the wealth of pathless forests, Whereon no axe may fall ; For the winds that haunt the branches ; The young bird's timid call ; For the red leaves dropped like rubies Upon the dark green sod ; For the waving of the forests, I thank thee, O my God ! For the sound of waters gushing In bubbling beads of light ; For the fleets of snow-white lilies Firm-anchored out of sight ; For the reeds among the eddies ; The crvstal on the clod; 22 A THANKSGIVING For the flowing of the rivers, I thank Thee, O iny God ! For the rosebud's break of beauty Along the toiler's way ; For the violet's eye that opens To bless the new-born day ; For the bare twigs that in summer Bloom like the prophet's rod ; For the blossoming of flowers, I thank Thee, O my God ! For the lifting up of mountains In brightness and in dread ; For the peaks where snow and sunshine Alone have dared to tread ; For the dark of silent gorges, Whence mighty cedars nod ; For the majesty of mountains, I thank Thee, my God ! For the splendor of the sunsets Vast mirrored on the sea ; For the gold-fringed clouds, that curtain Heaven's inner mystery ; For the molten bars of twilight, Where thought leans, glad, yet awed; For the glory of the Bunsets, I thank thee, O my God ! For the earth, and all its beauty ; The sky, and all its light ; THE IMMORTAL VOYAGER 23 For the dim and soothing shadows That rest the dazzled sight ; For unfading fields and prairies, Where sense in vain has trod ; For the world's exhaustless beauty, I thank Thee, O my God ! For an eye of inward seeing ; A soul to know and love ; For these common aspirations, That our high heirship prove ; For the hearts that bless each other Beneath Thy smile, Thy rod ; For the amaranth saved from Eden, I thank Thee, O my God ! For the hidden scroll, o'erwritten With one dear Name adored ; For the Heavenly in the human ; The Spirit in the Word ; For the tokens of Thy presence Within, above, abroad ; For Thine own great gift of Being, I thank Thee, O my God ! THE IMMORTAL VOYAGER. I thaxk Thee, Lord, for precious things Which Thou into my life hast brought ; More gratefully my spirit sings Its thanks for all I yet have not. 24 THE IMMORTAL VOYAGER How fair Thy world to me has been ! How dear the friends who breathe its air ! But who can guess what waits within Thine opening realms, Thy worlds more fair ? That which I had has slipped away, Lost in the abysses of the Past ; By that I lack am I to-day Heir of Thine undawned aeons vast. The best things joy to me has brought Have been its sigh of yearning pain ; Its dreams of bliss unguaged by thought ; Its dear despairs, which yet remain. If Thou Thyself at once couldst give, Then wert Thou not the God Thou art : To explore Thy secret is to live, Creation's ever-deepening Heart ! To some Thou givest at ease to lie, Content in anchored happiness : Thy breath my full sail swelling, I Across thy broadening seas would press ! Dear voyagers, though each nearing oar Around, is music to my ear, Sweeter to hear, far on before, Some swifter boatman call, " Good cheer ! " At friendly shores, at peaceful isles, I touch, but may not long delay ; CLIMBING TO REST 25 Where Thy flushed East with mystery smiles, I steer into the unrisen day. For veils of hope before Thee drawn, For mists that hint the immortal coast Hid in Thy farthest, faintest dawn, — My God, for these I thank Thee most. Joy, joy ! to see, from every shore Whereon my step makes pressure fond, Thy sunrise reddening still before ! More light, more love, more life beyond ! CLIMBING TO REST. Still must I climb, if I would rest : The bird soars upward to his nest ; The young leaf on the treetop high Cradles itself within the sky. The streams, that seem to hasten down, Return in clouds, the hills to crown ; The plant arises from her root, To rock aloft her flower and fruit. I cannot in the valley stay : The great horizons stretch away ! The very cliffs that wall me round Are ladders unto higher ground. To work — to rest — for each a time ; I toil, but I must also climb : 26 PRAYER ON THE MOUNTAIN What soul was ever quite at ease Shut in by earthly boundaries ? I am not glad till I have known Life that can lift me from my own : A loftier level must be won, A mightier strength to lean upon. And heaven draws near as I ascend ; The breeze invites, the stars befriend : All things are beckoning toward the Best : I climb to thee, my God, for rest ! PRAYER ON THE MOUNTAIN. Gird me with the strength of Thy steadfast hills, The speed of Thy streams give me ! In the spirit that calms, with the life that thrills, I would stand or run for Thee. Let me be Thy voice, or Thy silent power, As the cataract, or the peak, — An eternal thought, in my earthly hour, Of the living God to speak I Clothe me in the rose-tints of Thy skies, Upon morning summits laid ! Robe me in the purple and gold that flies Through thy shuttles of light and shade ! Let me rise and rejoice in Thy smile aright, As mountains and forests do ! Let me welcome Thy twilight and Thy night, And wait for Thy dawn anew ! sox(;-\vefts 27 Give me of the brook's faith, joyously sung Under clank of its icy chain ! Give me of the patience that hides among Thy hilltops, in mist and rain ! Lift me up from the clod, let me breathe Thy breath ! Thy beauty and strength give me ! Let me lose both the name and the meaning of death. In the life that I share with Thee ! SONG-WEFTS. The grace of the bending grasses, The flush of the dawn-lit sky. The scent that lingers and paf When the loitering wind goes by, Are gushes and hints of sweetness, From the unseen deeps afar, — The foam-edge of heaven's completeness Swept outward through flower and star. For the cloud, and the leaf, and the blossom, The shadow, the flickering beam, Are waifs on the sea-like bosom Of beauty beyond our dream : Its glow to our earth is given ; It freshens this lower air : Oh, the fathomless wells of heaven, — The springs of the earth rise there I 28 SONG- WEFTS The curtain of the dark Is pierced by many a rent : Out of the star-wells, spark on spark Trickles through night's torn tent. Grief is a tattered tent Where through God's light doth shine : Who glances up, at every rent Shall catch a ray divine. Despair not thou of any fallen soul's fate, Till thou hast knelt beside it in the mire, And mingled with its moanings desolate The heavenward whisper of thy heart's desire ; Till thou hast felt it thrill with thine own faith In Him who looks not on us as we are, But wakes the immortal in us by His breath, And puts remembrance of our sins afar. The noblest creature of a mortal birth Rose to its beauteous dignity of place Not without many a lingering stain of earth, Wherein all souls are set, a little space ; And thou into the haunts of shame and crime Like an awakening breeze of Heaven mayest go, Knowing that out of blackest depths of slime May spring up lilies whiter than the snow. From the reek of the pond the lily Has risen, in raiment white, A spirit of air and water, A form of incarnate light. THE STILL HOUU 29 Yet. except for the rooted stem That steadies her diadem, Except for the earth she is nourished by. Could the soul of the lily have climbed to the sky ? Where does the snow go, So white on the ground ? Under May's azure No flake can be found. Look into the lily Some sweet summer hour; There blooms the snow In the heart of the flower. Where does the love go, Frozen to grief ? Along the heart's fibres Its cold thrill is brief. The snow-fall of sorrow Turns not to dry dust ; It lives in white blossoms Of patience and trust. THE STILL HOUR. The quiet of a shadow-haunted pool, Where light breaks through in glorious tender- ness ; Where the tranced pilgrim in the shelter cool Forgets the way's distress, — 30 THE STILL HOUR Such is this hour, this silent hour with Thee ! The trouble of the restless heart is still, And every swaying wish breathes reverently The whisper of Thy will. Father, our thoughts are rushing wildly on, Tumultuous, clouded with their own vain strife ; Darkened by cares from our own planting grown ; We call the tumult life. And something of Thy Presence still is given : The keen light flashing from the seething foam, Through tangled boughs the sudden glimpse of heaven, From Thee, Thee only, come. And beautiful it is to catch Thy smile Amid the rush, the hurrying flow of mind ; To feel Thy glance upon us all the while, Most Holy and most Kind ! But oh ! this hour of heavenly quietness, When, as a lake that opens to the sky, The soul, serene in its great blessedness, Looks up to meet Thine eye ! Fountain of Life, in Thee alone is Light ! Shine through our being, cleansing us of sin, Till we grow lucid with Thy Presence bright — The peace of God within. Yet nearer to our souls in blessing come ! O Thou Divine One, meet us a Friend ! WINTER M1DXIGUT 31 With Thee alone is every heart at home : Stay with us to the end ! By the stream's windings let us with Thee talk Of this strange earth -life Thou so well hast known ; In Thy fresh footprints let us heavenward walk, No more to grope alone ! If in our thoughts, by Thee made calm and clear, The brightening image of Thy face we see, What hour of all our lives can be so dear As this still hour with Thee ! WINTER MIDNIGHT. Speak to us out of midnight's heart, Thou who forever sleepless art ! The thoughts of Night are still and deep ; She doth Thy holiest secrets keep. The voices of the Day perplex ; Her crossing lights mislead and vex : We trust ourselves to find Thy way, Or, proudly free, prefer to stray. The Night brings dewfall, still and sweet ; Soft shadows fold us to Thy feet ; Thy whisper in the dark we hear : " Soul, cling to Me ! none else is near." 32 A WHITE WORLD Speak to us by white Winter's breath, Thou Life behind the mask of death, That makest the snowfall eloquent As summer's stir in earth's green tent ! Close unto Winter's quiet breast, Summer, a sleeping babe, is pressed : Till waking-time she safe will hold His bloom and freshness manifold. O Night and Winter ! cold and gloom ! O marble mystery of the tomb ! God's hieroglyphs to man are ye ; Sealed visions of what yet shall be. Better is blessedness concealed From sight, than joy to sense revealed. Thanks for this happy mortal breath ! Praise for the life wrapped up in death ! A WHITE WORLD. I NEVER knew the world in white So beautiful could be As I have seen it here to-day, Beside the wintry sea ; A new earth, bride of a new heaven, Has been revealed to me. The sunrise blended wave and cloud In one broad flood of gold, A WHITE WORLD 33 But touched with rose the world's white robes In every curve and fold ; While the blue air did over all Its breath in wonder hold. Earth was a statue half awake Beneath her Sculptor's hand : How the Great Master bends with love Above the work He planned, Easy it is, on such a day, To feel and understand. The virgin-birth of Bethlehem, That snow-pure infancy, Warm with the rose-bloom of the skies, — ■ Life's holiest mystery, — God's utter tenderness to man. Seems written on all I see. For earth, this vast humanity, The Lord's own body is ; To this our life He entereth in, Shares all its destinies ; And we shall put His whiteness on When we are wholly His. And so the day dies like a dream, .V prophecy divine : Dear Master, through us perfectly Shape Thou Thy white design, Nor let one life be left a blot On this fair world of Thine ! 34 A HEARTS P BAYER A HEART'S PRAYER. A prayer is in my thoughts to-night I hardly dare to say : " Lord, put my wishes all to flight, Nor let me have my way ! " I dare not say it. Lord, for fear My heart I may mistake ; So many earthly things are dear, Perhaps, for earth's own sake. Nor can I think that Thou art glad In life despoiled of bloom, Since for all joy the worlds have had Thyself hast opened room. And yet the poison plant, so fair, So like the wholesome grows, To pluck my flower I will not dare, But trust His hand who knows. And this, indeed, is life's best thing, — To take sweet gifts from Thee ! If Thou some dark, sealed bud shouldst bring, It must hold light for me. In sadness I withheld my prayer, Hid under trembling fear ; In praise it blossoms, unaware, Because the sun is near. THY WILL BE DOXE 35 My heart Thou wilt not crush or chill : M Lead into Thine my way ! Through all my wishes breathe Thy will ! " This prayer to-night I Bay. THY WILL BE DONE. Oxly silently resigned To the counsels of Thy mind ; Willing, yet rejoicing not, That Thy purpose shall be wrought, ■ Is this truly to submit ? Folding placid hands, to sit, While innumerable feet Thy triumphant coming meet ? Shall we say, " Thy will be done ! " And on our own errands run ? Vain and evil the design, We pursue, apart from Thine. Teach us how to live this prayer ; Reverently Thy plans to share ! More than echoes of Thy voice, Make us partners in Thy choice ! Lift us up to catch from Thee World-encircling sympathy : Ardor, strength, and courage give; As Thou livest, let us live ! 36 PRAYING ALWAYS Let our deeds be syllables Of the prayer our spirit swells : In us Thy desire fulfill ! By us work Thy gracious will ! PRAYING ALWAYS. Soul of our souls, only by Thee The way we see Through earth's entangling mystery ; We nothing know ; But prayer unbars heaven's gate, and Thou dost show The one sure path in which we ought to go. And this is prayer : from self to turn Thee-ward, and learn Our life's veiled angels to discern. Filled with Thy light We hate the damning evil, love the right : Awake with Thee, there is in us no night. Were ours the wish, as vain as strange, Thy will to change, Or Thy least purpose disarrange, — That were not prayer, But only a rebellious heart laid bare, Insanely choosing curses for its share. Thou present God ! to Thee we speak ; Weary and weak, PBAYIXG ALWAYS 37 Thy strength Divine we struggling seek ! Thou wilt attend To every faintest sigh we upward send ; Thou talkest with our thoughts, as friend with friend. The battle of our life is won. And heaven begun, When we can say, " Thy will be done ! " But, Lord, until These restless hearts in Thy deep love are still, We pray thee, u Teach us how to do Thy will ! " We cry with Ajax. Give us light ! A glimpse, a sight, Of midnight foes that we must fight ! They hide within. They lurk without, the subtle hordes of sin : By mortal might shall no man victory win. The prayer of faith availeth much : Thou nearest such ; Thy hand we in the darkness touch. Oh, not apart Stay est Thou on some high throne, all -loving Heart ! Helper in times of need we know Thou art. Nor nursing each our own distress, To Thee we press ; Prayer's overflow drowns selfishness : Soul within soul, 38 BURDENED One voice to Thee our linked petitions roll ; Healer of the world's hurt, oh, make us whole ! And when arise serener days, Whose air is praise, The song of thankfulness we raise On high shall be, Not that to some vast All we bend the knee, But that each soul has one sure friend in Thee. Soul of our souls, with boundless cheer Forever near, Our being's breath and atmosphere, The world seems bleak Only when shelter in drear self we seek : The joy of life is, man to Thee may speak ! BURDENED. No burden ever had I That I would not have had ; Though times there were when I thought never again To look up to heaven and be glad. For, groaning and struggling on With the throngs that laden go, I saw, by the pack on my neighbor's back, That mine was the lighter woe. Unladen, heedless, unbent, I never had known IN SORROW 39 That the fardel horne by each wight forlorn Held something that was my own ; Something he bore for me With a patient ignorance, While my footprints lay as a blur on his way, And hindered his soul's advance. Just it was that on me Some sorrow should fall ; No trouble alone is the trouble of one, But each has a share in all. And if on my aching neck Another his burden laid, Strength given for his day then he threw away, Wherewith I was stronger made. I know that we are not here For our selfish ease ; The kingliest One that the earth has known Lived not Himself to please. And they who have learned of Him How a burden can give rest. And joyfully share the great human care, — They have learned life's secret best. IN SORROW. This my comfort is in sorrow : Every grief I have is Thine : Heaviest clouds around me borrow Radiance from Thy smile divine. 40 OUR PRAYERS Lamb of God, for us, the sinning. From the world's foundation slain, To Thy heart Thy wanderers winning, — In Thy love I drown my pain. This is my soul's consolation ; Grief hath made me all Thine own. Nevermore shall separation Of my will from Thine be known. Thou, who readest my inmost story, With Thy courage make me strong ! Thou, whose thorn-crown is Thy glory, Let my sorrow be my song ! Thou, in mortal anguish lonely, Gavest Thy life our hurts to heal : Count not this my suffering only ! Woes of all who weep I feel. Take our human consecration ! Help some sad soul through our pain ! Thou, whose wounds are our salvation, Let no heart have bled in vain ! OUR PRAYERS. Art Thou not weary of our selfish prayers ? Forever crying, " Help me, save me, Lord ! " We stay fenced in by petty fears and cares, Nor hear the song outside, nor join its vast accord. And yet the truest praying is a psalm : The lips that open in pure air to sing. HELPER AND FRIEND 41 Make entrance to the heart for health and balm ; And so life's urn is filled at heaven's all-brim- ming spring. Still are we saying, u Teach ns how to pray " ? O teach ns how to love ! and then our prayer Through other lives will find its upward way. As plants together seek and find sweet life and air. Thy large bestowing makes us ask for more : Prayer widens with the world wherethrough love flows. Needy, though blest, we throng before Thy door : Let in Thy sunshine, Lord, on all that lives and grows ! HELPER AND FRIEND. Heavexly Helper, Friend divine. Friend of all men, therefore mine. Let my heart as Thy heart be ! Breathe Thy living breath through me ! Only at Thy love's pure tide Human thirst is satisfied : He who fills his chalice there, Fills, with thirstier souls to share. Undefiled One, who dost win All Thine own from paths of sin, 42 IN THE DARK Never let me dread to go Where is guilt, or want, or woe ! If another lose the way, My feet also go astray : Sleepless Watcher, lead us back, Safe into the homeward track ! As a bird unto its nest, Flies the tired soul to Thy breast. Let not one an alien be ! Lord, we have no home but Thee ! IN THE DARK Thou who art my only Light, Thee do I follow through the night ; Though home and hope are out of sight, Firm trust in Thee my spirit hath ; Thou knowest my path ! Although I cannot see Thy face, 1 feel the warmth of Thy embrace. Enfold me in the dangerous place Where sin lies waiting to betray ; Thou knowest my way. O Thou who seest me through and through, ■ The thoughts I think, the deeds I do, — Thou knowest I would to Thee be true ! O draw me closer to Thy side, My Lord, my Guide ! THEE ONLY 43 Thou knewest me, lovedst me in the past, Even when the tempter held me fast : Thy wanderer has come home at last, Never again from Thee to stray — From Thee, my Way '. I know not what may yet unfold Beyond the morning's gates of gold. This is my heaven, Thy hand to hold, Thy steps to follow through the night, — My Life, my Light ! THEE ONLY. If now anew the search were to be made For One to guide me onward through the gloom Of this dim world wherein I walk afraid ; — If, like a child left in an empty room. Homesick, alone, the silence like a tomb, I went forth weeping, and should hear one say, •' Here, child ! " another, u Yonder is the way ! " Another, u Come with me ! Why care with whom ? " — I do not think I could mistake Thy call Among ten thousand. Toward Thy voice I grope. Brother, Friend. Lord ! although with many a fall, And sore bewilderment, and baffled hope. My needy soul, if ignorant of Thee, Would prophesy Thy coming. Thou must be ! 44 AT THY FEET AT THY FEET. Lord, I would offer Thee A heart's untarnished gold, And yet how can it be When all there is in me Is touched with blight and mould ? I find within no thought So holy that it may Unshamed to Thee be brought, Except as it hath caught From Thee a hallowing ray. Yet all I am is Thine. Through sins and flaws and stains I feel Thy Presence shine. Take me, and make divine All that uncleansed remains ! Lord, of Thyself not much In me canst Thou behold, And yet Thou savest such ; The magic of Thy touch Transmutes my dross to gold. Contrition Thou dost prize All sacrifice above. Dear Lord, I dare arise And look into Thine eyes, Because I know Thy love. SAVED 45 SAVED. What is the soul He would save ? — The being, with all its powers ; The root, with its leaves and flowers : All possible good we can crave In this God-given life of ours. From what would He save the soul ? — From contented selfishness, And from bleak unlovingness ; From the lower aim's control, From the downward passion's stress. From the hell of an evil choice, When our eyes on His Presence close ; From an earth-clogged ear that knows No tone of His tender voice ; From a void heart's waste of woes. He saveth thee, soul, for what ? — To be born anew, as a child, In the clear and open thought ; In the love that envieth not ; The desires all undefiled. To enrich thee with every gift That His fatherly thought can plan : From belittling sins to lift Thee up to the angel swift, And the stature of a man ! 46 PURIFIED He saveth thee, soul, to be As the cleansing salt and the leaven : His mind and His will to see ; To be faithful and strong and free In the truth, which alone is heaven. Not to wait for the Far-away, Wrapped in Eden-dreams, — but now To become a warmth, a ray, O Christ, of Thy deathless day ! For the Life of our life art Thou ! PURIFIED. How cleanse a heart that is defiled ? God may forgive the sin, But guilt is canker, and eats in ; Is tempest, bringing shipwreck wild : Yet only as a little child Shall man His kingdom win. The pearl of innocence, once lost, Can never be replaced Upon the brow its whiteness graced : Yet unto swine such pearls are tossed ; And earth is paved with gems of cost, Scattered in spendthrift waste. Alas ! we cannot purely love, We cannot nobly hate ; Our tears of blood are wept too late : "EVEN AS HE IS PURE" 47 With halting steps we upward move, Fearing lest even our house above Be left us desolate. And if there were no Voice to say, kk Go thou, and sin no more ! Love, that forgives, can all restore ; Thou art made whole ! " — could any stay Heart-bare beneath truth's probing ray, Unscathed by terrors sore ? O Christ ! the memory of our sin Thy healing love will hide ; With Thee our souls in peace abide ; In Thee heaven's childhood we begin : Thy kingdom we at last shall win, Not pure, but purified ! "EVEN AS HE IS PURE." Thou who seest my soul within, Thou who knowest my unknown sin, Through Thy holy eyes let me Learn what sin is unto Thee ! Oh, my Saviour undefiled, Leave me not by self beguiled, Blinded by my heart's deceit, For Thy friendship all unmeet ! If there be in me a thought That Thy dear name honoreth not, 48 "BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT 91 Pierce it with Thy pitying gaze Till its silence turns to praise ! Make me, Pure One, as Thou art, Pure in soul and mind and heart ; Never satisfied with less Than Thy perfect holiness ! Bathing in Thy love's clear stream, Let my soul fulfill her dream, Beautified with every grace Shining on me from Thy face ! None Thy holy heaven may win Stained with earthliness and sin : They must in white robes appear, Who Thy whiteness venture near. Cleanse us, fill us, Soul Divine, With a purity like Thine, That within, without us. we In clear vision, God may see ! "BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT." Oh, the beauty and the joy of living As the children of our Father, God ! All we have and hope for gladly giving His abounding love to pour abroad, — Healing waters of His pure salvation, Through the world for which His Son has died : "BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT" 49 Sharing in our Blaster's consecration ; Walking at our Elder Brother's side. Wonderful the whiteness of Thy glory ! Can we truly that perfection share ? Yes ; our lives are pages of Thy story ; We Thy shape and superscription bear : Tarnished forms — torn leaves — but Thou canst mend them ; Thou Thine own completeness canst unfold From our imperfections, and wilt end them ; Dross consuming, turning dust to gold. Like a snowy mountain-peak above us, u Be ye perfect ! " dazzles our dim eyes. Canst Thou look from Thy pure height and love us ? May our earth-clogged feet to Thee arise ? We before the vision veil our faces, Yet would have it not a ray less bright. Shine into our sin's dark hiding-places ! Fill us, flood us with Thy cleansing light ! Perfect even as Thou art perfect. Father ! As the little hilltops catch the sun ; As the small shoots springing up together Round the Tree of Life, with it are one. In these earthen vessels heavenly treasure For the enrichment of Thy poor may shine : Thou canst fill us, in our human measure, With Thy being's overflow divine. Perfect only with God's own perfection ! Drop the crumbling model shaped of clay ! 50 THE KING AT THE DOOR Break the weak ideal of man's erection ! Let the Real burn the false away ! This is life — to pour out love unstinted ! Good and evil sunlike blesseth He : Through your finite is His infinite hinted : — Children of your Father must ye be. THE KING AT THE DOOR. Lift up the everlasting gates ! The King before your threshold waits. Shall He who life's great building planned Unwelcomed at its portal stand ? Is there a corner of your heart Where you retreat, alone, apart, A sanctuary all your own ? Behold ! He made it for His throne. Is there a darkness, where, shut in, You dare not face your secret sin ? Lo ! there He built His mercy seat, There He your humbled soul will meet. Have you a stately banquet hall Where guests from many a clime you call ? You see not any face aright Until He enters with His light. Ye rich ones, why will ye abide In poverty of lonely pride ? THE SEEKER 51 Your silver and your gold are dim, Your house is empty, without Him. Ye lowly ones, if ye are His, Ye have no need of palaces, Since that rich soul can lack for naught Who lets God in at every thought. Lift up the everlasting gates ! The King at His own threshold waits. — Enter, O Lord, and with Thy face Make glorious this Thy dwelling place I THE SEEKER. : If selfishly Thy heaven I seek, I seek Thy heaven in vain," — I heard my heart within me speak : I hear it yet again. For heaven is all unselfishness : The souls whose home is there Have never dreamed of happiness They do not long to share. If selfishly Thy love I seek, I seek Thy love in vain. Place at Thy side need none bespeak Who shrink back from Thy pain. For love — Thy love — is sacrifice : Who seeketh still his own, 52 -HIMSELF HE CANNOT SAVE" Nor for his brethren lives and dies, Thyself hath never known. Dear Lord, each selfish thought we think Puts us afar from Thee : Into our own dark depths we sink. Where heaven can never be. Teach us to know Thee as Thou art ; — To give as Thou hast given ! Oh, show us how r the loving heart May make this world a heaven ! "HIMSELF HE CANNOT SAVE." O scoffer ! He who from the cross Looked down thy dark abysm of loss, And knew His pain alone could win Such souls as thine from gulfs of sin, — His death-groan mournful echo gave : " Myself I cannot save." Words breathed in scorn, yet understood By Him to bear a sense of good : The secret of the glorious strife Between the powers of death and life, Love's deepest truth — self-sacrifice — Hid in that mockery lies. And he must understand it so Who would relieve a brother's woe : ''HIMSELF HE CAXXOT SAVE" 53 He cannot shun his own distress ; He hastes, with Christlike earnestness, Although the way be through his grave : Himself he cannot save. Some happy souls may pass along The heavenward road with smile and song, Through guileless infancy and youth Linked in with followers of the truth ; And their unconsciousness of ill But makes them lovelier still. Their peaceful path is not for all : Each must obey his separate call ; And he is of himself abhorred Who flies the summons of the Lord : Sailing from danger unto ease, He sinks in unknown seas. None longs so for yon vales of peace As he whom war gives no release. But exiles' chains his brethren wear ; He knows no rest they may not share ; For them all hardships he must brave : Himself he cannot save. Aye, through all pain and loneliness, Where men are perilled, he must press To rescue, crying, " Woe is me, Resisting not the wrong I see ! If none uphold me, I must go, Single, against the foe ! " 54 BESIDE THE CROSS And not the warrior-heart alone The scoffer's word for truth has known : - The mourner, weeping out the night For aliens from the one true Light ; The watcher by the bed of pain, Who knows her watch is vain ; He who has felt his heaviest cross Far lighter than another's loss ; He who can ask and bear the blow That shelters any soul from woe, Sees why that Death on Calvary Life's beacon-light must be. Ring, mournful echo, through the world ! Float, banner of the Cross, unfurled To show the servant who would prove His Master's joy of suffering love, That while thy folds above him wave Himself he cannot save ! BESIDE THE CROSS. Jesus, in Thy death I see What Thy life is unto me ! Now no longer is the Cross Sign to me of shame and loss : Joy it is, to share Thy pain ; All I lose is glorious gain. Lord, to me this blessing give — In Thy death to die — and live ! NEARER TO CHRIST 55 Jesus, from Thy wounded side Flows through me a living tide ; Health and hope and righteousness ; Power to do, and will to bless. Now am I no more mine own : Now I live Thy life alone. Self is slain without a sigh : Life it is, with Thee to die ! Jesus, let Thy blood within Cleanse my inmost thoughts from sin ; Purify my lingering stains ; Be the life-throb in my veins ! Be it mine Thy cross to bear, And Thy sacrifice to share ! Be my food, my strength, my breath ! Be my Life, and conquer death ! NEARER TO CHRIST. Draw Thou my soul, O Christ, Closer to Thine ! Breathe into every wish Thy will divine ! Raised my low self above, Won by Thy deathless love. Ever, O Christ, through mine Let Thy life shine ! Lead forth my soul, O Christ, One with Thine own ; 56 THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN Joyful to follow Thee Through paths unknown ! In Thee my strength renew ; Give me Thy work to do ! Through me Thy truth be shown, Thy love made known ! Not for myself alone May my prayer be : — Lift Thou Thy world, O Christ, Closer to Thee ! Cleanse it from guilt and wrong ; Teach it salvation's song ! Make it alive in Thee, — - Perfect in Thee ! Nearer to Thee, Christ, Nearer to Thee ! Till we in Thy dear face God's glory see ! Heavenward our hopes ascend, Saviour and Lord and Friend ! Oh, draw us all to Thee, Nearer to Thee ! THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN. I had a haunting thought at Easter-tide, Musing between the twilight and the dawn, Of our dear Lord and Friend, who, having died, Came to His chosen where they were withdrawn : THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN 57 Came, while they talked of His mysterious death, And doubted if He had arisen indeed ; Breathed on them with His loving, living breath, Their Master, from the grave's enthrallment freed. Li Reach hither, Thomas ! see and touch my wounds ! Behold ! believe that it is I ! " He said. Down unto us the wondrous word resounds ; — The death-marks on Him, yet He was not dead. They were the sure proofs that He was alive : The doubter's finger traced His dreadful scars : Bears He not still those fatal tokens five Within the unseen heavens beyond the stars ? The heart, the hands, the feet, have bled for us ; More than our common curse of death He knew : Into His spotless nature glorious The eternal sorrow of our sins He drew. This is the wonder John in Patmos saw, — The vision of a Lamb that had been slain : Sacred to us forever is God's Law, Writ in the awful print-marks of His pain ! Still is He touched with our infirmity ; Yearning to win us from our shame and wrong, Still must His wounds throb, when we go astray From His dear Father's House, where we belong. The memory of the path for us He trod No splendor of the heaven of heavens can dim : 58 EASTER By His deep human love, the Son of God • Must always draw our human hearts to Him. EASTER. (sunset and sunrise.) 'T is Easter eve ; the day is fading ; O Thou, with w T hom there is no death, While twilight every path is shading, Breathe through us thy sweet Spirit's breath ! And when our last night conies, may we Fall peacefully asleep in Thee! The sun sets not ; it is earth going Awhile to hide her from the sun, Where gentler, cooler winds are blowing ; To feel the coming day begun Beneath soft night's refreshing dews ; — To wait for light she cannot lose. To die with Christ — it is not dying ; It is but sinking deep with Him Into the Father's bosom, lying In that warm, sheltering silence dim, Until the radiance of His eyes Shines into ours, and slumber flies. Sunrise ! — it is the world arising : — Her Lord, the Sun, she turns to meet, Strange beauty everywhere surprising Her steps — glad births of light and heat ; CHRIST IS ARISEN 59 It is earth's face with joy aglow To see life round her bud and grow. To rise with Christ — it is awaking Into the brightness of God's face ; It is to see His splendor breaking Through every form, in every place, As all along the heavenly way Unfolds the dawn of His great day. O Christ ! this holy Easter morning Pierce every shadow of our sin With love's dear beckoning, truth's forewarning ! Thy life anew in us begin ! Let us the Father's glory see, And rise into His light with Thee ! CHRIST IS ARISEN. Vaixly we make for Thee a grave apart, Each in the lonely garden of his heart : — Thou, who the Life and Love Eternal art : — Alleluia ! Christ is arisen ! Where have they laid our Lord ? we ask in fear ; Nor know the Voice that speaks in accents clear : u Why weepest thou ? Behold Me ! I am here 1 " Alleluia ! Christ is arisen ! While we with tears bedew thine empty tomb, Thy Face is shining through the garden's gloom : — GO AS A FLOWER Lo ! the birds singing, and the flowers in bloom ! Alleluia ! Christ is arisen ! Is it our love that makes our hearts so blind ? With spice and balm thy form we may not bind ; Thou art alive for us and all mankind ! Alleluia ! Christ is arisen ! And gently Thou reprovest — "Touch me not ! Nor hold the feet back with thy clinging thought, That rest not till a heavenlier work be wrought ! " Alleluia ! Christ is arisen ! Dear Master, in Thy footsteps let us go, Till with Thy Presence all our lives shall glow, And souls through us Thy resurrection know ! Alleluia ! Christ is arisen ! Earth feels the dawn of Thy new day arrive : The dead around us in their graves revive : In Thee, O Christ ! shall all be made alive ! Alleluia ! Christ is arisen ! AS A FLOWER. Open your heart as a flower to the light ! Darkness is passing ; the Sun is in sight ; Morning with splendor is piercing life through, Arrows of radiance, and spear-tips of dew. Glad is the world in the Holy One's birth. Lo, the new heavens ! and lo. the new earth ! BING, HAPPY BELLS! Gl Scattered and fled are the phantoms of night: Christ is the victor, and Christ is the Light ! Open your heart, and His love will shine in, Cleansing and healing the hurt of your sin. Who can resist Him, the Saviour, the Son ? Hell flies before Him, and Heaven is won. Open your heart as a flower to the light ! Bloom and bear fruit in the glory of right ! Be of His Presence a perfume, a ray, Child of the morning, and heir of the day ! RING, HAPPY BELLS! Ring, happy bells of Easter time ! The world is glad to hear your chime ; Across wide fields of melting snow The winds of summer softly blow, And birds and streams repeat the chime Of Easter time. Ring, happy bells of Easter time ! The world takes up your chant sublime, ' The Lord is risen ! " The night of fear Has passed away, and heaven draws near : We breathe the air of that blest clime. At Easter time. Ring, happy bells of Easter time ! Our happy hearts give back your chime ! 62 THE NEW SONG The Lord is risen ! We die no more : He opens wide the heavenly door ; He meets us, while to Him we climb, At Easter time. THE NEW SONG. Oh, sing, thou happy heart ! Thy world is all in bloom. Sing, through the grateful tears that start At Jesus' opening tomb ! Sing ! even in grief be glad ! Breaks the new day within ! Thy path in living green is clad ; Thou leavest behind thy sin. Sing, nor look backward, down Thy dark, deserted Past ! Before thee gleams thy promised crown ; Thou shalt reach home at last. Sing, spirit, from the height Where Love thy wing hath borne : Sing to the darkness of the light ! Sing to the night of morn ! Oh, sing, thou ransomed one, Sing of thy sins forgiven ! Sing to the slumberers of the Sun ! Sing to the lost of Heaven ! OUR CHRIST 63 OUR CHRIST. Lff Christ I feel the heart of God Throbbing from heaven through earth ; Life stirs Again within the clod; Renewed in beauteous birth. The soul springs up. a flower of prayer, Breathing His breath out on the air. In Christ I touch the hand of God, From His pure height reached down, By blessed ways before untrod, To lift us to our crown ; Victory that only perfect is Through loving sacrifice, like His. Holding His hand, my steadied feet May walk the air. the seas ; On life and death His smile falls sweet. Lights up all mysteries : Stranger nor exile can I be In new worlds where He leadeth me. Not my Christ only : He is ours ; Humanity's close bond ; Key to its vast, unopened powers. Dream of our dreams beyond. What yet we shall be none can tell : Now are we His. and all is well. 64 HIS BIRTHDAY HIS BIRTHDAY. It is His birthday — His, the Holy Child ! And innocent childhood blossoms now anew, Under the dropping of celestial dew Into its heart, out of this heavenlier Flower, That penetrates the lowliest roof-tree bower With fragrance of an Eden undeflled : O happy children, praise Him in your mirth, - The Son of God born with you on the earth ! It is His birthday — His, in whom our youth Becomes immortal. Nothing good, or sweet, Or beautiful, or needful to complete The being that He shares, shall suffer blight ; All that in us His Father can delight, He saves, He makes eternal as His truth. Praise Him for one another, loyal friends ! The friendship He awakens never ends. It is His birthday — and this world of ours Is a new earth, since He has dwelt therein ; Is even as heaven, since One Life without sin Made it a home. His voice is in the air ; His face looks forth from beauty everywhere ; His breath is sweetness at the soul of flowers ; And in Him — joy beyond all joy of these — Man wakes to glorious possibilities. It is His birthday — and our birthday, too ! Humanity was one long dream of Him, WOMAN'S CHRISTMAS Go Until He came : with fitful glow, and dim, The altars heavenward smoked from vasrue desire. Despair half stifling aspiration's fire. He is man's lost ideal, shining through This life of ours, whereinto floweth His, — God, interblent with human destinies. It is His birthday — His. the only One Who ever made life's meaning wholly plain ; Dawn is He to our night ! No longer vain And purposeless our onward-struggling years; The hope He bringeth overfloods our fears : Now do we know the Father through the Son ! O earth. O heart, be glad on this glad morn ! God is with man ! Life, Life to us is born ! WOMAN'S CHRISTMAS. 11 For unto us a Child is born." Not, Mary, unto thee alone, Though blessed among women thou : Not thine, nor yet thy nation's own. With that large glory on His brow. Thou bendest in awe above the Child. The cradled Hope of all the race ; The perfect One, the L^ndefiled, A saved world shining in His face. Thou bendest in awe ; we bend with tl Forgetting bygone loneline-> 66 WOMAN'S CHRISTMAS Our heart's desire fulfilled is He ; Our solitude He comes to bless. By the close bond 01 womanhood, By the prophetic mother-heart, Forever visioning unshaped good, Mary, in Him we claim our part. This baby's Face is as the sun Upon the dimness of our way ; This child's Arm ours to lean upon When mortal strength and hope decay. Our path, erewhile so desolate, His dear beatitudes adorn ; Earth is a heavenward-opening gate, Since unto us this Child is born. Born unto us, who vainly seek The fair ideal of our dreams Among its mockeries, blurred and weak : He crowns the manhood He redeems. To us, who trust that men will grow Grander than thought or guess of ours, When this pure Life through theirs shall flow, This Health divine stir all their powers. O Hebrew maiden, even to us, Thy sisters, scattered over earth, God sont this Infant glorious, This one divinely-human birth. WOMAN'S EASTER 67 What were our poor lives worth, if thence Flowered forth no world-perfuming good, No love-growth of Omnipotence ? The childless share thy motherhood. All holy thoughts, all prayer and praise, Wherewith our Christ hath made life sweet, Through us undying voices raise, One Name — His Father's — to repeat. Breathe, weary women everywhere, The freshness of this heavenly morn ! The blessing that He is, we share ; For unto us this Child is born ! WOMAN'S EASTER. With Mary, ere dawn, in the garden, I stand at the tomb of the Lord ; I share in her sorrowing wonder ; I hear through the darkness a word, — The first the dear Master hath spoken, Since the awful death-stillness was broken. He calleth her tenderly, — " Mary ! " Sweet, sweet is His voice in the gloom. He spake to us first, oh my sisters, So breathing our lives into bloom ! He lifteth our souls out of prison ! We, earliest, saw Him arisen ! 68 THE LILY OF THE RESURRECTION He lives ! Read you not the glad tidings In our eyes, that have gazed into His ? He lives ! By His light on our faces Believe it, and come where He is ! O doubter, and you who denied Him, Return to your places beside Him ! The message of His resurrection To man it was woman's to give : It is fresh in her heart through the ages : " He lives, that ye also may live, Unfolding, as He hath, the story Of manhood's attainable glory." O Sun, on our souls first arisen. Give us light for the spirits that grope ! Make us loving and steadfast and loyal To bear up humanity's hope ! O Friend, who forsakest us never. Breathe through us thy errands forever ! THE LILY OF THE RESURRECTION. While the lily dwells in earth, AValled about with crumbling mould, She the secret of her birth Guesses not, nor has been told. Hides the brown bulb in the ground, Knowing not she is a flower ; Knowing not she shall be crowned As a queen, with white-robed power. THE LILY OF THE RESURRECTION 69 Though her whole life is one thrill Upward, unto skies unseen, In her husks she wraps her still. Wondering what her visions mean. Shivering, while the hursting scales Leave her heart bare, with a sigh She her unclad state bewails, Whispering to herself, " I die." Die ? Then may she welcome death, Leaving darkness underground. Breathing out her sweet, free breath Into the new heavens around. Die ? She bathes in ether warm : Beautiful without, within. See at last the imprisoned form All its fair proportions win ! Life it means, this impulse high Which through every rootlet stirs : Lo ! the sunshine and the sky She was made for, now are hers ! Soul, thou too art set in earth. Heavenward through the dark to grow : Dreamest thou of thy royal birth ? Climb ! and thou shalt surely know. Shuddering Doubt to Nature cries, — Nature, though she smiles, is dumb, — 70 " YE SHALL LIVE ALSO " " How then can the dead arise ? With what body do they come ? " Lo, the unfolding mystery ! We shall bloom, some wondrous hour, As the lily blooms, when she Dies a bulb, to live a flower ! "YE SHALL LIVE ALSO." Say not of thy friend departed, " He is dead : " — he is but grown Larger-souled and deeper-hearted, Blossoming into skies unknown. All the air of earth is sweeter For his being's full release ; And thine own life is completer For his conquest and his peace. Roll the stone from sorrow's prison, White-robed angel, holy Faith, Till with Christ we have arisen, And believe the word He saith ! Heaven is life to Life brought nearer : Love withdraws, more love to give : Hearts to hearts in Him are dearer : - " Lo ! I live, and ye shall live ! " THE HEART OE GOD 71 THE HEART OF GOD. O Life, that breathest in all sweet things That bud ami bloom upon the earth, That fillest the sky with songs and wings, That walkest the world through human birth ; Life, that lightest in every man A spark of Thine own being's flame, And wilt that spark to glory fan, Our listening souls would hear Thy name. Thou art the Eternal Christ of God, The Life unending, unbegun ; The Deity brightening through the clod, The presence of the Invisible One. Though dear traditions wrap Thee round In Bethlehem and in Nazareth, With every soul Thy home is found, On every shore of life and death. Before the pyramids were built, Before the time of Abraham, To the world's first-born, blind with guilt, Thou earnest, the enlightening word, " I AM." To free from sin's entangling mesh Our wandering race, Thy brethren dear, Thou veiledst Thyself in mortal flesh ; A man with men Thou didst appear. 72 THE HE MIT OF GOB The voice that unto poet and sage Whispered of God at hand, unknown, Hath written itself on history's page. Speaks in a language like our own : Speaks to us now. from day to day, Wafts heavenly peace through earthly care ; Inspires our faint humanity Thy crown to seek. Thy cross to bear. Thy voice is sweet in brook and bird, And boughs that over home-roofs bend ; And dear in every kindly word, Borne from the lip of friend to friend. Thy smile is in the wayside flower, That opens like a child's blue eye, Not less than in the sunset hour, When breathless wonder thrills the sky. Thou livest, most human, most Divine ! To no veiled Fate or Force we bow : Far off God's blinding splendors shine ; His near, deep tenderness art Thou ! His heart, whose truth can never fail, However ours may change or stray ; Before whose love all friendships pale, Our trust when worlds and suns decay. For love remains, whatever dies ; The love that breathed us into bloom, THE HEART OF GOD 73 And Bet us in the eternil To fill their void with life's perfume. Revealer of our being's design. Through Thee, because of Thee, we are: Sacred our lite, since it is Thine ; No hopeless blight its growth shall mar. Into the awful vague of death We follow, where Thou leadest the way; Feel, through its damp-. Thy living breath ; S Thee rlood all its dark with day. We follow, and we rind our own. Whom the grave covered from our sight : We know them, even as we are known. Clothed on with heaven's transfiguring light. Love. Friend, our toil is sweet. Our burden light, for Thou art near ; And Nature's harmonies repeat Thy Name, to every creature dea O Love, Friend. Thy name is God ! Lord of the unseen and the known ! Thy thoughts the universe have trod. With worlds like sands of silver strown. The lonely spheres cry out to Thee To multiply Thy life in them : - worthier than the stars must be To sparkle in Thy diadem. 74 THE HEART OE GOD There are who hold Thy truth, and yet Thyself disown, its origin ; Thee as a stranger they have met, Nor recognized the Guest within ; And some who seem to hear are deaf. Lip-service mocks thy sacrifice : Unlovingness is unbelief ; Untruthful lives are heresies. But where men aim at noblest things, Where beats a pure and generous heart, Where thought leads up on heavenward wings, There, Saviour of the world, Thou art ! One God to all eternity, Thou livest, the Only and the Same ; Yet ever to humanity Art dearest by Thy human name. Weary of system and of plan, Life of our life, we turn to Thee ; Divine Ideal of struggling man, Help us in man Thy face to see ! Lead us through these bewildering ways Of pain and beauty Thou hast trod ! Thou art our creed, our prayer, our praise, O Christ, Thou human Heart of God ! HIS CHURCH 75 HIS CHURCH. Witness to His eternal pity For the world's wanderers it stands, The House of God, the Holy City, Builded of light, not made with hands. Without are loneliness and danger ; Within are warmth, and food, and songs : Here is no alien and no stranger ; Here every soul of man belongs. No saved child calls to his lost brother, k% See ! I am holier than thou ! " In Christ they recognize each other ; His name is written on every brow. And in His name all outcasts enter. And claim their birthright through His love His Church is the great human centre Towards which earth's generations move. They come, to share His consecration ; To drink His cup of sacrifice ; To be fresh wells of His salvation, That in life's desert shall arise. One home, — the hearthstone of the Father ; One table, Bpread by His dear Son ; One Spirit drawing us together ; God's familv in I Tim made one ! 76 THE BLESSED COMPANY Christ tells the world her own true story ; Her failing cup fills to its brim With love, and blessedness, and glory ; We find each other, finding Him. His Church is heaven and earth in union ; The lift of wings, the clasp of hands ! God offering man divine communion ! — The door forever open stands. THE BLESSED COMPANY. God never meant us to be separated From one another, in our work and thought ; Spirits that share His Spirit He has mated, That so His loving purpose may be wrought, His gracious will be done In earth and heaven, as one : O blessed company of all the true, — His holy Church, — may I belong to you ? Ye are His people ; but around you slumber The hosts of God your summons must arouse To join the multitude no man can number ; Even in their dreams they whisper now the vows Their happy lips will take When they to Him awake. Ye, through whom every day His breath anew Creates His worlds, I would belong to you ! THE BLESSED COMPANY n Thou. Father, hast made every man a brother To every other man. and in thy Son Renewest the bond : it' we despise each other, A\\> scorn Tine, in whose eyes all souls are one. Ye heirs disguised, look up ! Drink from the royal cup ! Your grimy robes His form is outlined through : It is His flesh and blood I share with yon. His Church, — it is the home of every spirit That looked and longed for Him before He came ; That hears God's voice now, or shall ever hear it. Through the dire discord of earth's outcast shame. He knoweth who are His : His seal upon them is. O scattered, wandering flock ! O loyal few ! One Shepherd claims us ! I belong to you ! In His clear sight what can it matter whether We wear this badge or that, or none at all. If we but cleave to Him. and fight together Against His foes, wherever He may call ? If He this weak heart win From shameful truce with sin. — If He will make me brave and keep me true, — Then. ye faithful, I am one of you ! What can the servant do without his Master ? And what, without the Bridegroom, were the Bride ? 78 "IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME" Behold, He cometh ! Onward, comrades, faster, Out of the wilderness unto His side ! Ah, Bride ! the desert glows Around thee like the rose ! Thy welcoming glance His smile is shining through ; Oh, take me in, to live my life with you ! " IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME." Who could refuse The last wish of a friend ? Loving unto the end, Fain would His love transfuse Itself into the lives He left hehind, That in their souls Him they might always find. " Remember Me ! " It was Christ's last request, Unto His own addressed : And all souls claimeth He ; Only by Him our human hearts are fed With spiritual wine and living bread. By One so dear Invited, who would stay In loneliness away ? O friends, let us draw near ! For in us now His image grows too dim : Let us forget ourselves, remembering Him ! OUR DAILY BREAD 79 AT THE FEAST. This is not only bread and wine — Thy body and Thy blood — It is Thyself, Thy Life Divine, That is our spirit's food. It is the feast of Life, not death, That now we celebrate ; Breathe into us Thy Spirit's breath, As here for Thee we wait ! Thou art alive ! let us be To life in Thee restored ! The new wine of Thy Kingdom we Would drink with Thee, dear Lord ! OUR DAILY BREAD. What is the daily bread, Father, we ask of Thee, — We, who must still be fed Out of Thy bounty free ? Not at the household board Is our deep want supplied : Bins may be amply stored, And souls unsatisfied. For not by bread alone Can we, Thv children, live : 80 OUR DAILY BREAD Some heavenly food unknown Thou unto us must give. We ask not meat to nurse Ambition's vain desire, Nor greed of gain, the curse Of inward cankering fire ; Nor the poor, tasteless husks That swine have torn and trod And ground with beastly tusks : Let clod be given to clod ! Nurtured we all must be By Thy sweet Word alone : Asking this bread of Thee, Thou wilt not give a stone. Thy Life, O God ! Thy Word, Outspoken through Thy Son ! In Him our prayer is heard, Our heart's desire is won. To sacrifice, to share, To give, even as He gave ; For others' wants to care ; Not our own lives to save ; With love for all around Our days and hours to fill : — Thus be it ever found Our meat to do Thy will ! U MY CUP RUNNETH OVER" 81 This is the living bread Which cometh down from Heaven, Wherewith our souls are fed ; The pure, immortal leaven. The hidden manna this, Whereof who eateth, he Grows up in perfectness Of Christ-like symmetry. Who seeks this bread shall be Nor stinted, nor denied : Our hungry souls in Thee, O Christ, are satisfied ! • MY CUP RUNNETH OVER." Wherefore drink with me. friends ! It is no draught Of red intoxication ; at its brim No vine-wreathed head of Bacchus ever laughed, — This homely cup of mine, now worn and dim With time's rough usage ; no bright bubbles swim, Or foam-beads sparkle over. — Have ye quaffed These waters clear, and felt the Shepherd waft His breath of life through souls that follow Him ? He cools my feverish fancies : calms the stir Of dreams whose end was only bitterness. Healed at this fount our inmost ail would be. Did we but health before disease prefer. 82 HYMNS OF A DAY My cup is filled at wells whose blessedness A world's thirst cannot drain. Friends, drink with me ! HYMNS OF A DAY. DAWN. O God, Thy world is sweet with prayer ; The breath of Christ is in the air ; We rise on Thy free Spirit's wings, And every thought within us sings. Thou art our Morning and our Sun ; Our work is glad, in Thee begun ; Our footworn path is fresh with dew, For Thou createst all things new. O God. within us and above. Close to us in the Christ we love, Through Him, our only Guide and Way, May heavenly life be ours to-day ! NOONTIDE. When the weary noonday heat Scorches hillside, lane and street, May my life a breeze and shade For Thy wayfarers be made ! Of Thy river, full and free, Send a cooling draught by me, HYMNS OF A DAY 83 That Thy thirsty ones may bless Thine abounding tenderness. Let Thy joy and beauty grow- In my path for them, that so We may see that Thou hast given Earth to be our road to heaven. Let me bear Thy love's perfume Into haunts of guilt and gloom, Winning so the sin-sick one Forth to Thee, the Light, the Sun ! Let me wash Thy wanderers' feet, Take them in, and bid them eat ! While they share my daily bread, May our souls by Thee be fed ! Make my heart a home and rest For Thine outcast and oppressed ! Let us find, of Thy sweet grace, In Thyself our dwelling-place ! Shut for one calm hour away From the clamor of the day, All our work will happier be For this noontide rest with Thee ! NIGHTFALL. Softly has the night descended ; Now in darkness day is ended : 84 SUNRISE IN THE CITY Starry watchers without number Guard the wide world wrapped in slumber. Sleep, O weary ones and lowly ! Jesus send you visions holy Out of unveiled heavenly places, Luminous with angel-faces ! Jesus slept within death's portal ; Opened it to life immortal ; Lighted up our human story With the promise of His glory. Pilgrim, sleep ! forget thy sorrow ! Sleep, in sure hope of to-morrow : Rise, then, to divine endeavor ! Rise, to share His life forever ! SUNRISE IN THE CITY. The sunrise over the houses ! The beautiful rose of dawn Reddening the eastern windows, — The curtains of Night withdrawn! More lovely than boughs in blossom The spires and the roof-trees glow. It is day ; and, in God awaking, Shall the spirit unfold and grow. On the city, in chrismal splendor, The blessing of morning falls : — SUNRISE IX THE CITY 85 The Bride coming down out of heaven ! — The pearl-gates, the jasper walls ! The white light enters the casement Like the wings of the Holy Dove ; And every house is a flower, A blossom of peace and love. The sunrise is fair on the gardens, The groves and the forests afar ; But fairer the trees of manhood, Of the heavenly planting are. And wide are the green savannas That under the dawn unroll ; But broader the landscape opens In the sunrise of a soul ! The footsteps of morning hasten Across yonder populous space, And the dwellings of men are illumined With the glory of God's own face. Who can guess the power of His coming ? He will banish doubt and despair ; The life of His Spirit will kindle And stir in the sleepers there. Behold the Day Star ascending ! See the hour of His triumph begin! The sunrise over the houses ! And the Christ-light shining in ' 86 CHILDREN'S JUNE SONG CHILDREN'S JUNE SONG. Little ones, let us be happy together In this beautiful world of ours ! Let us be glad in this sweet June weather, With the birds and the breezes and flowers, With the grass and the earth, with the sky and the sun — Let us be glad in the summer begun ! There are praises rising, and prayers are springing, From the heart of creation to-day ; Hark ! Faith with a chant and a carol is winging Her flight up the heavenly way ! Let thought unto thought with the sweetness ring ! Little ones, open your hearts and sing ! For a loving life breathes a fragrance dearer To God than the breath of a rose, And the song of the soul has a melody clearer Than the lark or the linnet knows ; And ever He leans from the silence dim And waits for the music you make to Him. Little ones, let us be part of the story Of joy that the world has to tell ! Let us bloom in the beauty and sing of the glory Of God, who has loved us so well ! Let us give Him ourselves, for to Him we belong — Each life be His blossom, each soul be His song ! WANDERERS' HYMN 87 WANDERERS' HYMN. O God, from Thee we would not stray: Reveal to us Thyself, the Way ! Recall us, claim us when we roam ! Thou art our country and our home. With Thee, in Thee alone is rest : Thou art our East, and Thou our West. Our little lives of Thine are part : No boundaries bar us from Thy heart. Through starless night, through mist and gale, Thou art the shore toward which we sail ; We bid farewell to friends most kind, But never leave Thy love behind. It perfumes every foreign flower ; It brightens every homesick hour; It greets us in the stranger's eye. With the heart's question and reply. For none are alien, none are strange. Met in the Love that cannot change ; We all are brethren in Thy Son — The Father and the children one. O Christ, Thou art the atmosphere Of heaven, breathed into mortals here ! Sharing Thy holy sacrifice We live, and sin within us dies. W A CANTICLE IN WAR Be in us ! Let Thy Spirit strong Inspire towards good, and win from wrong ; Save us from base and sinful strife, And draw us closer, life to life ! We are but orphans, Lord, till we Thine in each other's face can see ; O shelter us, below, above, In Thy great heights and depths of Love ! A CANTICLE IN WAR. (a. d. 1863.) Glory to Thee, Father of all the Immortal, Ever belongs : We bring Thee from our watch by the grave's portal Nothing but songs. Though every wave of trouble has gone o'er us, — Though in the fire We have lost treasures time cannot restore us, — Though all desire That made life beautiful fades out in sorrow, — Though the strange path Winding so lonely through the bleak to-morrow, No comfort hath, — Though blackness gathers round us on all faces, And we can see By the red war-flash but Love's empty places, — Glory to Thee ! .1 CANTICLE IX WAR 89 For, underneath the crash and roar of battle, The deafening roll That calls men off to butchery like cattle. Soul after soul : Under the horrid sound of chaos seething In blind, hot strife, We feel the moving of Thy Spirit, breathing A better life Into the air of our long-sickened nation ; A muffled hymn ; The star-sung prelude of a new creation ; Suffusions dim, — The bursting upward of a stifled glory, That shall arise To light new pages in the world's great story For happier eyes. If upon lips too close to dead lips leaning, Songs be not found, Yet wilt Thou know our life's unuttered meaning : In its deep ground, As seeds in earth, sleep sorrow-drenched praises, Waiting to bring Incense to Thee along thought's barren mazes When Thou send'st spring. Glory to Thee ! we say, with shuddering wonder, While a hushed land Hears the stern lesson syllabled in thunder, That Truth is grand As life must be ; that neither man nor nation May soil thy throne 90 A CANTICLE IX WAR With a soul's life-blood — horrible oblation ! Nor quick be shown That Thou wilt not be mocked by prayer whose nurses Were Hate and Wrong ; That trees so vile must drop back fruit in curses Bitter and strong. Glory to Thee, who wilt not let us smother Ourselves in sin ; Sending Pain's messengers fast on each other Us thence to win ! Praise for the scourging under which we languish, So torn, so sore ! And save us strength, if yet uncleansed by anguish, To welcome more. Life were not life to us, could they be fables, — Justice and Right : Scathe crime with lightning, till we see the tables Of Law burn bright! Glory to Thee, whose glory and whose pleasure Must be in good ! By Thee the mysteries we cannot measure Are understood. With the abysses of Thyself above us, Our sins below, That Thou dost look from Thy pure heaven and love us, Enough to know. Enough to lay our praises on Thy bosom — Praises fresh-grown LIFE IS GROWTH 91 Out of our depths, dark root and open blossom, Up to Thy throne. When choking tears make our Hosannas falter, The music free ! Oh, keep clear voices singing at Thy altar, Glory to Thee ! LIFE IS GROWTH. (sung at a rededication. wheaton seminary, massachusetts.) Life is growth, and growth is change : Shall the new be counted strange, While the rich Past lends perfume To the Present in its bloom ? Giving on — as they have given, Passed beyond us into heaven — Hearts in this Thy service, Lord, Find their gift its own reward. New things blossom out of old ; Fading lives with youth unfold, Standing in Thy sunrise bright, Bearing flower and fruit of light. Looking up into Thy face. Let us broaden, in our place ; Glad in opening wide our doors, — Glad in pouring out our stores ! 92 HIS STAR IN THE WEST Let our wish, our plan, our end, With Thy widening purpose blend ! Shape Thou what we will and do — Thou, who makest all things new ! HIS STAR IN THE WEST. (read at A REUNION, MONTICELLO SEMINARY, ILLINOIS.) Our way still is onward ; the world is yet young With a beauty that never was dreamed of, or sung : Her wonders for eyes that can see them unfold ; And the heart that looks forward will never grow old. For the splendor that beckons is life — it is youth ; The sweetness of hope, and the freshness of truth, That make a perpetual morning, a spring Where the flowers always blossom, the birds always sing. Look forward ! move onward ! the new work to do, Will strengthen our sinews, create earth anew ! There are suns beyond suns ; there 's an East in the West; In all unexplored seas there are Isles of the Blest. The years gather over us — only a veil For the things that are seen : earthly vision must fail, That the heavenly may clear ; the awakening soul Looks up, drops the fragments, inherits the whole. HIS STAR IN THE WEST 93 Lost empires in Orient oceans are drowned ; Not the Past, but the Future, comes up to be crowned. Wise men in the East with a great light were blest ; It was Bethlehem's Star, and it led to the West. It led to the West, and it greatened and glowed For apostles and martyrs, revealing the road — Still westward — those pioneer-spirits must take, Who would bear on Christ's gospel, and die for His sake. To His latter-day triumph the rich nations bring Their glory and honor ; the earth knows her King. Our planet rolls into His light from afar ; The true star of empire is Bethlehem's Star. The kingdom is His ; bring Him beauty and youth ! The trophies of learning, the treasures of truth ! Never yet was a conquest of science complete Until it was laid at the Holy Child's feet. His cradle is still in the West, as of old. Through the sunset press on, until sunrise unfold The light that was never on land or on sea — The light of His coming, the Life that shall be ! By the glow of that vision we read what we lack ; Inspired, not disheartened ; the beautiful track Entices the traveler forth, day by day. Entranced with the infinite joy of the way. 94 GLIMPSES We may mourn that the guerdon we seek is not gained ; That the heights we look up to, remain unattained ; But we lower no standard ; the Best draws us on, Though the perfect ideal eludes us, unwon. We shall win it, O dear fellow-pilgrims ! We know The voices that call through the clear Western glow. By the old saints forever a new song is sung : Life beckons us on, and life always is young. GLIMPSES. Life comes to us only by glimpses ; We see it not yet as a whole. For the vapor, the cloud, and the shadow That over it surging roll ; For the dimness of mortal vision, That mingles the false with the true : Yet its innermost, fathomless meaning Is never quite hidden from view. The hills lift aloft the glad secret ; It is breathed by the whispering leaves ; The rivers repeat it in music ; The sea with its harmony heaves; The secret of that living gospel Which freshened the veins of the earth, When Love, named in heaven the Redeemer, Was revealed in a human birth. GLIMPSES 95 Life shows us its grandeur by glimpses ; For what is this wondrous To-Day But a rift in the mist-muffled vastness Of surrounding eternity ? One law for this hour and far futures ; One light on the distant and near ; The bliss of the boundless hereafter Pulses into the brief moments here. The secret of life, — it is giving ; To minister and to serve ; Love's law binds the man to the angel, And ruin befalls, if we swerve. There are breadths of celestial horizons Overhanging the commonest way ; The clod and the star share the glory, And to breathe is an ecstasy. Life dawns on us, wakes us, by glimpses ; In heaven there is opened a door ! — That flash lit up vistas eternal ; The dead are the living once more ! To illumine the scroll of creation, One swift, sudden vision sufficed : Every riddle of life worth the reading Has found its interpreter — Christ ! 96 WHY LIFE IS SWEET WHY LIFE IS SWEET. Because it cometh up, a heavenly flower, Out of the earth, divinely sown therein, To gather grace from shadow and from shower, And freshness of invisible worlds to win Unto itself, — not to be hoarded there, But for the sweetening of the common air. Because it breathes in and exhales God's breath, Its natural atmosphere, and so grows strong To root itself amid decay and death, And lift its head above the poisonous Wrong, And. with her far-reaching fibres, push apart The noisome evils clutching at Earth's heart. It is not sweet, but bitter, sad, and vain, Living in shows of what we are or do ; The after-taste of selfishness is pain : In hearts that grovel, hope must grovel, too ; Ever our petty falsehoods deathward tend, Leave us defeated, cheated of life's end. It is not sweet to compass our low aim, And sicken of it ; nor to trail the wing In dust, whereon celestial dawn should flame. Even love, sin-touched, is an unwholesome thing, A growth reversed, blight clinging into blight ; Love, meant to hallow all things with its light. To live ! to find our life in nobler lives, Baptized with them in dews of holiness ; MORE LIFE 97 Strengthened, upraised, by every soul that thrives In the clear air of perfect righteousness, And sheltering that which might for frailty die, When, with hot feet, the whirlwind rushes by ! Oh, sweet to live, to love, and to aspire ! To know that whatsoever we attain, Beyond the utmost summit of desire, Heights upon heights eternally remain, To humble us, to lift us up, to show Into what luminous deeps we onward go. Because the Perfect, evermore postponed, Yet ever beckoning, is our only goal ; Because the deathless Love that sits enthroned On changeless Truth, holds us in firm control ; Because within God's Heart our pulses beat ; Because His Law is holy, life is sweet ! Because it is of Him, His infinite gift ; Lost, but restored by One who came to share His riches with our poverty, and lift The human to the heavenly, everywhere ; Because in Christ we breathe immortal breath, Sweet, sweet is life ! He hath abolished death ! MORE LIFE. Not weary of Thy world, So beautiful, O Father, in Thy love, — Thy world, that, glory-lighted from above, Lies in Thy hand impearled : 3 MORE LIFE Not asking rest from toil ; Sweet toil, that draws us nearer to Thy Bide ; Ever to tend Thy planting satisfied, Though in ungenial soil : Nor to be freed from care, That lifts us out of self's lone hollowness ; Since unto Thy dear feet we all may press, And leave our burdens there : But oh, for health, for strength ! A life untainted by the curse of sin, That spreads no vile contagion from within ; Found without spot, at length ! For power, and stronger will To pour out love from the heart's inmost springs With constant freshness, for all needy things ; In blessing, blessed still ! Oh, to be clothed upon With the white radiance of a heavenly form ! To feel the winged Psyche quit the worm, Life, life eternal won ! Oh, to be free, heart-free From all that checks the right endeavor here ! To drop the weariness, the pain, the fear ! To know death cannot be ! Oh, but to breathe in air Where there can be no tyrant and no slave ; DRAWIXG NEARER 99 Where every thought is pure, and high, and brave, And all that is, is fair ! More life ! the life of heaven ! A perfect liberty to do Thy will : Receiving all from Thee, and giving still, Freely as Thou hast given ! More life ! a prophecy Is in that thirsty cry, if read aright : Deep calleth unto deep : Life Infinite, O soul, awaiteth thee ! DRAWING NEARER. Are we daily drawing nearer Thee, the Perfect, the Unseen? Grows the pathway ever clearer, Stretching sense and God between ? Thine own messengers beside us Wait, wherever we may be ; Earth and heaven are met, to guide us Nearer unto Thee. In the web of beauty's weaving, In the picture and the song ; In our dreaming and believing, By our friendships borne along ; By our own heart's human story, By the light on land and sea, Glimpsing unimagined glory, Draw we nearer Thee ? 100 DRAWING NEARER In our doings and ambitions, Heaping gold and probing thought ; In crude science, worn traditions, Finds the spirit what it sought ? In the tumult of the nations, Surging like a shoreward sea, Are Thy sundered congregations Gathering unto Thee ? With the footsteps of the ages, Are we drawing nearer Thee ? Beautiful upon Time's pages Will our name and record be ? Year on year of worthier living Add we to life's glorious sum ? — Through our failures. Thy forgiving, Lord, Thy kingdom come ! Over fallen towers of error, Laid by our own hands in dust ; Past the ghosts of doubt and terror ; Out of sloth's in-eating rust ; From Gomorrah's lurid smouldering, Borders of the drear Dead Sea ; Graves where selfish loves lie mouldering, Fly we unto Thee. Vain a secret hoard to carry From our ruined house of pride ; Weights that hinder, fiends that harry, Are the idols that we hide. DRAWIXG NEARER 101 Draw us rather by the sweetness Of Thy breath in living things To Thyself, with unclogged fleetness Lifted, as on wings ! Dogmas into truth transmuting, Fusing differences in love ; Creed and rite no more disputing, Closing rank and file we move ; Leaving our dead Past behind us, Turning not, nor looking back : May no wayside glimmer blind us To the one straight track ! Brother hastening unto brother, Youth rewakening in our eyes, Loving Thee and one another, Find we our lost Paradise. Where the heart is, there the treasure ; Led by paths we cannot see Unto heights we cannot measure, Draw we nearer Thee ! Nearer Thee, through every aeon, Every universe of Thine ! Man and seraph swell one paean, Harmonizing chords divine. Thine from Thee no power can sever ; Through death's veil Thy face they see ; Saved, forever and forever Drawing nearer Thee ! 102 ACROSS THE RIVER ACROSS THE RIVER. When for me the silent oar Parts the Silent River, And I stand upon the shore Of the strange Forever, Shall I miss the loved and known ? Shall I vainly seek mine own ? Mid the crowd that come to meet Spirits sin-forgiven, — Listening to their echoing feet Down the streets of heaven, — Shall I know a footstep near That I listen, wait for here ? Then will one approach the brink With a hand extended, One whose thoughts I loved to think Ere the veil was rended ; Saying, " Welcome ! we have died, And again are side by side ? " Saying, u I will go with thee, That thou be not lonely. To yon hills of mystery : I have waited only Until now, to climb with thee Yonder hills of mystery." Can the bonds that make us here Know ourselves immortal, ACROSS THE RIVER 103 Drop away, like foliage sear, At life's inner portal ? What is holiest below Must forever live and grow. I shall love the angels well, After I have found them In the mansions where they dwell, With the glory round them : But at first, without surprise, Let me look in human eyes. Step by step our feet must go Up the holy mountain ; Drop by drop, within us flow, Life's unfailing fountain. Angels sing with crowns that burn ; We shall have our song to learn. He who on our earthly path Bids us help each other — Who his Well-beloved hath Made our Elder Brother — Will but clasp the chain of love Closer, when we meet above. Therefore dread I not to go O'er the Silent River. Death, thy hastening oar I know ; Bear me, thou Life-giver. Through the waters, to the shore, Where mine own have gone before ! 104 A YEAR IN HE A VEX A YEAR IN HEAVEN. Oxe year among the angels, beloved, thou hast been ; One year lias heaven's white portal shut back the sound of sin : And yet no voice, no whisper, comes floating down from thee, To tell us what glad wonder a year of heaven may be. Our hearts before it listen, the beautiful closed gate : The silence yearns around us ; we listen and we wait. It is thy heavenly birthday, on earth thy lilies bloom ; In thine immortal garland canst find for these no room ? Thou lovedst all things lovely when walking with us here ; Now, from the heights of heaven, seems earth no longer dear ? We cannot paint thee moving in white-robed state afar, Nor dream our flower of comfort a cool and distant star. Heaven is but life made richer : therein can be no loss ; To meet our love and longing thou hast no gulf to cross ; A YEAH IN UK AYES 105 No adamant between us uprears its rocky screen ; A veil before us only ; thou in the light serene. That veil 'twixt earth and heaven a breath might waft aside ; We breathe one air, beloved, we follow one dear Guide : Passed in to open vision, out of our mists and rain, Thou seest how sorrow blossoms, now peace is won from pain. And half we feel thee leaning from thy deep calm of bliss, To say of earth, •• Beloved, how beautiful it is ! The lilies in this splendor — - the green leaves in this dew ; — Oh, earth is also heaven, with God's light clothed anew ! " So, when the sky seems bluer, and when the blos- soms wear Some tender, mystic shading we never knew was there, We '11 say " We see things earthly by light of sainted eyes ; She bends where we are gazing, to-day, from Para- dise. " Because we know thee near us, and nearer still to Him Who fills thy cup of being with glory to the brim, 106 NEAR SHORE We will not stain with grieving our fair, though fainter light, But cling to thee in spirit as if thou wert in sight. And as in waves of heauty the swift years come and go, Upon celestial currents our deeper life shall flow, Hearing, from that sweet country where blighting never came, Love chime the hours immortal, in earth and heaven the same. NEAR SHORE. The seas of thought are deep and wide ; Let those who will, O friend of mine, Sail forth without a chart or guide, Or plummet-line ; A blank of waters all around ; A blank of azure overhead ; An infinite of nothing found, Whence faith has fled. The Name that we with reverence speak, Echoes across those wastes of thought ; But they who go far off to seek, They hear it not. The shores give back its sweetest sound From rivulet cool, and shadowing rock, XEAli SHORE 107 And voices that calm hearths surround With friendly talk. Earth is our little island home. And heaven the neighboring continent, Whence winds to every inlet come With balmiest scent. And tenderest whispers thence we hear From those who lately sailed across. They love us still ; since heaven is near. Death is not loss. From mountain slopes of breeze and balm, What melodies arrest the oar ! What memories ripple through the calm ! We '11 keep near shore. By sweet home instincts wafted on, By all the hopes that life has nursed, We hasten where the loved have gone, Who landed first. If God be God, then heaven is real : We need not lose ourselves and Him In some vast sea of the ideal, Dreamy and dim. He cheats not any soul. He gave Each being unity like His ; Love, that links beings, He must save ; Of Him it is. 108 LOVE'S LATE REMORSE Dear friend, we will not drift too far Mid billows, fogs, and blinding foam, To see Christ's beacon-light — the star That guides us home. Moving towards heaven, we '11 meet half-way- Some pilot from that unseen strand ; Then, anchoring safe in perfect day, Tread the firm land. Thence onward and forever on Toward summits piled on summits bright : The lost are found, and we have won The Land of Light ! God is that country's glory : He Alike the confidence is found, Of those who try the uncertain sea, Or solid ground. Yet we. for love of those who bend From yon clear heights, passed on before To wait our coming, — we, dear friend, Will keep near shore. LOVE'S LATE REMORSE How will it be When you at last in heaven we see, — Dear souls, whose footsteps in lost days, Made musical earth's toil-worn ways, LOVE'S LATE JtiEMOBSE 109 While we not half the loneliness That hound you to our side could guess ? Where angela know your footfall, we Are fain to he. We never knew — So heedlessly we walked with you — The drops we jostled from your cup, That, spilt, could not be gathered up : We might have given you foam and glow From our own beaker's overflow ; — Ah ! what we might have been to you, We never knew ! We might have lent Such strength, such comfort and content To you, out of our ample store : We might have hastened on before To lift the shadows from your way, Darkened, ere noon, to twilight's gray ; With earth's cold air love's warm heart-scent We might have blent. Dear, wistful eyes, Ye haunt us with your kind surprise, Your tender wonder that a heart Should thus be left alone, apart, So loving, so misunderstood By us, in our self-centred mood : Alas ! in vain to you arise Our longing cries ! 110 FOR LARGER LIVES Oh, will you wait For us, beyond the shining gate ? Though lovely gifts behind you left, We want yourselves : we are bereft. From your new mansion glorious Will you lean out to look for us ? Shut is the far-off, shining gate : — Are we too late ? FOR LARGER LIVES. In heaven, they say, is undisturbed and perfect peace ; and yet Along our heart-strings, even there, a tremor of re- gret Must sometimes wander into pain, if memory sur- vives, — A grief, that in this good, great world we lived not larger lives. God moves our planet gloriously among His starry spheres ; And nobler movements for our souls through these our mortal years, In widening orbits toward Himself eternally He planned : — We creep and rust in treadmill grooves ; we will not be made grand. He sent us forth. His children, of His inmost life a part ; FOR LARGER LIVES 111 His breath. His being ; each a throb of His deep Father-heart ; He shaped us in His image, suns, to flood His worlds with day : — Alas ! we stifle down His light, and deaden into clay. Meant to be living fountains, — not little stagnant pools, Stirred aimlessly from shallow depths, walled round with petty rules. Drying away to dust at last, — to Him we might ascend. And with the River of His Life in crystal freshness blend. To share His freedom — sons of God ! There is no other aim Can kindle any human hope to an immortal flame ! It is the keenest shame of these mean, fettered lives we lead, — We choose the weights that drag us down, refusing to be freed. Yet souls that win immortal heights unclogged with self must move : The only thing that we can take from earth to heaven is love. To make us great like Thee, O God ! Thy Spirit with us strives :•— Enlarge our hearts to take Thee in ! O give us nobler lives ! 112 THE PERFECT WORD THE PERFECT WORD. How satisfying is a perfect word ! How great, to know the truth, and utter it So that it shall eternally he heard. And worlds together in its chords be knit ! Who speaks for beauty, Beauty's self must be, And not her language with vain lips repeat, — Mere tinkling cymbals, hollow melody Wearying the air with mockery most unsweet ! Out of this half-articulate earthly speech, This broken jargon from each other caught, This jangled medley of our songs, we reach Toward some divine expression of our thought. Somewhere above the selfish jar and fret, The deathly silence, deathlier noise of sin, Mercy and truth and righteousness have met, And souls to that vast concord enter in. They know the Life itself, the visible Word, The music of eternal overflow From central ocean-streams of being, stirred With the first rapture of creation's glow. But men with falsehood blur what God speaks plain ; • His message hourly mistranslated is. Dear angels, heal us of our discord's pain ! Lend us the keynote of your harmonies ! A DOOR OPENED 113 Sweeter than any sound by angels heard, Whispered or sung through their un withering ho were, Christ is the beautiful, eternal Word, Breathed from God's heart into this world of ours. That Word Jehovah spake, that men might see The meaning of their being, hid in Him ; Each human birth a possibility. That well might wake the silent seraphim. Yet loftiest seraph-lyres can but rehearse Suggestions faint of His unfolding plan, Whose perfect Word unto His universe Is, and forever must be, God in man ! A DOOR OPENED. Might a door but be opened in heaven ! Might we look for a moment within ! Might only one comforting glimpse be given, Of the life that we hope to win ! A door has been opened in heaven : — Its glory shone full on the earth. When the clouds of her midnight were smitten and riven By the joy of the Christ-Child's birth. And a door is yet opened in heaven ; Its light floods our world to its brim. When a soul, for His truth having suffered and striven. Ascends, a crowned conqueror, to Him. 114 TRANSFIGURED TRANSFIGURED. Yes, heaven has come down to meet us ; It hangs in our atmosphere ; Its beautiful open secret Is whispered in every ear. And everywhere, here and always, If we would but open our eyes, We should find, through these beaten footpaths, Our way into Paradise. We should walk there with one another ; Nor halting, disheartened, wait To enter a dreamed-of City By a far-off, shadowy Gate. Dull earth would be dull no longer ; The clod would sparkle a gem ; And our hands, at their commonest labor, Would be building Jerusalem. For the clear, cool river of Eden Flows fresh through our dusty streets ; We may feel its spray on our foreheads Amid wearisome noontide heats. We may share the joy of God's angels, On the errands that He has given ; We may Kve in a world transfigured, And sweet with the air of heaven. ELIZABETH 115 ELIZABETH. E. H. W. September 3, 1864. A white stone glimmers through the firs, The dry grass on her grave-mound stirs ; The sunshine scarcely warms the skies ; Pale cloudlets fleck the chilly blue ; The dawn brings frost instead of dew To the bleak hillside where she lies. "T is something to be near the place Where earth conceals her dear, dead face ; — But thou, true heart, thou art not there ! Where now thou art beloved and known, Love makes a climate of its own ; Perpetual summer in the air. The language of that neighboring land Already thou didst understand, Already breathe its healthful breath, Before thy feet its shores had pressed ; There wert thou an awaited guest, At home in heaven, Elizabeth ! I try to guess what radiance now Is resting on that gentle brow, Lovelier than shone upon it here ; 116 ELIZABETH What heavenly work thou hast begun, What new, immortal friendships won, That make the life unseen so dear. I cannot think that any change Could ever thy sweet soul estrange From the familiar human ties ; Thou art the same, though inmost heaven Its wisdom to thy thought has given, Its beauty kindled in thine eyes. The same to us, as warm, as true, Whatever beautiful or new With thy unhindered growth may blend : Here, as life broadens, love expands ; How must it bloom in those free lands Where thou dost walk, beloved friend ! I do not know what death may mean ; No gates can ever shut between True heart and heart, Elizabeth ; 'T is but to step from time's rude strife A little farther into life, And there thou art, Elizabeth ! Amesbury, Mass., December, 1883. WITHDRAWAL 117 WITHDRAWAL. J. G. W. September 7, 1802. Was it thy step on the mountain-side ? Was it thy voice in the air ? — Strange beauty illumined the landscape wide ; The world lay in heaven-light there. And a whisper, a breath, through my trouble went ; — Did a soul speak, passing by ? — u Ah, see how the heights and the levels are blent, How the peaks are dissolved in the sky 1 " One tender suffusion of splendor is this, — Blue summits and meadows green ! So peaceful, so soft the withdrawal is Of a life into Light unseen." — Thy spirit was passing — I knew it not — Beyond the light of the sun ! And the world thou hast left has a radiance caught From the glory that thou hast won. And my soul arises and follows thine Up the luminous heavenward slope ; For thy beautiful footprints make earth divine With the glow of a deathless hope. On Moosilauke Mountain, N. H.